USC outdraws Rams, Chargers . . . combined

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The most interesting and, for the NFL, depressing fact of the day comes from L.A., where the two re-relocated franchises played on the same day before a turnout that surely has some owners wondering why they agreed to put two teams in a previously empty market. (And then they go back and admire their share of the relocation fees and they feel a lot better about it all.)

For their regular-season home opener at the 27,000-seat StubHub Center, the Chargers attracted 25,381 fans. The Rams, in their Week Two game against Washington, had 56,612 present. That’s a total of 81,993 for a pair of Los Angeles home games played on the same day.

The previous night at the Coliseum, USC drew 84,714 for a game against Texas. Which, obviously, is more than the combined attendance of the two NFL games.

Yes, the Chargers were closer to the stadium maximum than the Rams. But the fact that the Chargers can’t sell 27,000 tickets to an NFL game is alarming, especially since San Diego State drew more than 43,000 to the venue the Chargers abandoned a day earlier.

The Chargers could have chosen to remain in San Diego while the stadium they’ll share with the Rams in Inglewood is being built, but the Chargers chose to make the immediate move. It seemed smart at the time, given that the Rams already were in the L.A. market. But a quick, clumsy entrance ultimately may be worse than a slow, proper entrance.

Regardless, the question now becomes when/if someone will be making an exit from the L.A. market far sooner than planned. If the new, state-of-the-art, $2.6 billion venue doesn’t consistently attract capacity crowds or something close to it when it opens in 2021 (the same year the Raiders open a new stadium in Las Vegas), a league that spent 20 years trying to figure out how to put a team back in L.A. may need to start thinking about how to get one out, quickly.

98 responses to “USC outdraws Rams, Chargers . . . combined

  1. LA went from media market “too big to fail” to “too apathetic not to fail” in record time. Somewhere in the commissioner’s office somebody is thinking right now “Maybe if there was a THIRD team there it’d really take off…”

  2. Here’s another stat that should scare the NFL even MORE…On Saturday the MLS Atlanta United match drew 70,425 fans…on Sunday the Falcons…NFC Champions…opening a brand new stadium drew 70,826. If the NFL isn’t careful, futbol is going to pass football as the most popular game here in the US as it does the rest of the world.

  3. This should surprise no one. The fair weather pro football fans in LA have never been able adequately to support even just one NFL franchise. There is exactly a zero percent chance that they will support two of them.

  4. The NFL will have to get used to being the small fish in a big pond. They forced themselves into a market that doesn’t want them. At best, they’re 7th or 8th in the pecking order in LA.

  5. I think many of us have sat in meetings where an initially idiotic idea slowly seemed to make more sense after hours and hours of consultant blather and pitch decks. The NFL probably had hundreds of those meetings before sending two teams into a market that hates them.

  6. Chargers have no chance to survive in LA, it’s gonna get real ugly and they will be crawling back to San Diego or they could actually end up in St. Louis within the next 10 years. It’s gonna be hard for Rams too but they are kinda stuck because the owner is paying for everything, they will be forced to play in the empty stadium for along time.

  7. Chargers shouldn’t have left SD – that was just a boneheaded move really. Now the owner gets to stew in his nice little financial mess.

  8. College vs NFL attendance isn’t an equal comparison. How many NFL teams were out-attended by other nearby college games? It isn’t that rare of an occurrence. There’s a reason NFL teams keep their stadium capacities down. Beaver Stadium had over a 100k in attendance for a game against Georgia State. Even the Steelers and their huge fan base aren’t filling a stadium that size.

  9. LA can potentially support 1 team, if they put a winning product on the field. Too many other cool things to do in LaLa Land versus supporting poor quality NFL teams. Chargers made a huge mistake leaving San Diego and like aliveguy24 says above probably heading back with their tail between their legs.

  10. If only we had history to show us that just because LA is a huge market doesn’t mean they care about football. It’s a shame that these owners moved their teams away from loyal fanbases in smaller markets to get a big fancy stadiums built in big fancy markets because they wanted more money. Hoping both moves fail so badly (as history seems to predict) that the NFL ignores the LA market after both teams move away (even though they’ll keep coming back and the big offseason story will always be what team will move to LA and take advantage of the market size)

  11. I live here in LA and as a die hard football fan i would much rather watch on my big screen in HD then get gouged and deal with traffic in order to watch some really terrible football. Cant change the channel in the stadium

  12. I live just a few miles north of San Diego.

    All my Charger memorabilia have been discarded.

    I truly hope they go belly up in LA.

  13. beavertonsteve says:
    September 18, 2017 at 11:49 am
    College vs NFL attendance isn’t an equal comparison. How many NFL teams were out-attended by other nearby college games? It isn’t that rare of an occurrence. There’s a reason NFL teams keep their stadium capacities down. Beaver Stadium had over a 100k in attendance for a game against Georgia State. Even the Steelers and their huge fan base aren’t filling a stadium that size.

    —–

    You are not talking about 1 pro game. It was 2 pro games. 2 pro pro games should outdraw a college game. I agree mostly with what you said, however 50,000 in a 90,000 seat stadium is not good and the chargers not selling out a 27,000 seat stadium is not a good sign either.

  14. Attendance wouldn’t be a problem if the Raiders were in LA. They have the far superior team and the biggest fan base in LA. But the NFL didn’t want the Raiders in LA for whatever reason. But the fact they let them move to Vegas will show just how popular they are in California.

  15. Another silly move by the NFL. Ratings are down, stadiums (did anyone else notice the vacant stadiums during preseason, 3 years ago, those stadiums were much more full, many of them anyhow) are not as full and from what I have seen so far this year, the product is suffering. Too much money, focus and media hype on certain stars, and gossiping nonsense. It’s about football, football, football. Notice even the talking heads know little about the game. Instead of Pat Kirwan on TV, you have some prattling twit arguing about who is better? Julio or OBJ? Brady or Rodgers? The more of this we see, the more the game overall will suffer, mark it. This kind of stuff has always been PART of the game, now its taking over.

  16. And the Gators-Vols game had a bigger attendance than Jaguars-Titans, but no one wants to talk about that? Marquee college football games will almost always outsell the NFL games between bad teams… it’s not a L.A. problem, it’s just the way it is everywhere. It’s not even that shocking.

  17. 84,000 attendance is also more than the Falcons-Packers game on Sunday Night Football in a brand new stadium, so by this logic, are the Packers and Falcons in trouble? Maybe the Falcons should relocate to St. Louis.

  18. This is what happens when you force a team on a city who didn’t want them. No one wanted the Chargers, especially not with the greedy snake Dean Spanos as the owner. We all saw how he treated San Diego and his demands for a free gold plated stadium at the expense of the taxpayers.

    I hope that the Chargers experiment here in LA dies and Spanos is forced to sell in disgrace.

  19. I TOLD YOU SO! The L-a-L-a-Land entertainment dollar is spread too thin, plus you got the beach. Rams lowest ticket price is $54. Chargers $250. Yesterday was sad watching a sparse 25k crowd who was more curious the supportive. Lots of cheers for the Dolphins tho.

  20. Not a Mark Cuban…but he was right. Just add the Chargers move to the side of the ledger titled Reasons “The NFL No Longer Exists”

    1. Concussions
    2. Exporting Games
    3. Thursday Night Games
    4. Weak Players Union
    5. Two Teams in LA
    6. Etc.

  21. re: Chargers – Average and median ticket price is over $300 – EACH! Many are over $600. Over $100 dollars to park. Yeah. Every fan in America would pay those prices 🙂

    People in LA aren’t stupid enough to get gouged like that.

  22. Here’s the the saddest part: I assumed that even though nobody cares at all about the Chargers that LA would have enough fans of the visiting teams to pack that tiny soccer stadium. The Chargers can save some money by scrapping the stadium idea entirely and just playing at the nearest park.

  23. This Charger re-location was a massive business mistake. Fabriani sold Spanos a bill of goods and is on the beach in SD laughing his head off and counting his money. The Chargers will NOT be sold for more money in L.A. than SD. The downside risk is way too high purchasing a no fan base franchise in L.A. This Charger re-location is unraveling fast. The Rams are not leaving again.

  24. There is a reason that three NFL teams have left LA. The lack of support in the first 1-2 years is not surprising in the least. Fan enthusiasm didn’t bring the NFL back to LA, only the greed of Kroenke, Jerry Jones, and Goodell did. I can’t wait to see the level of support after the sticker shock sets in on the new empty stadium!

  25. the move to have two teams in LA was never a good idea….firstly, it divides the audience and second, the two teams in LA failed the first time and wont work a second time.

    if i were the Chargers owner Dean Spanos, i would’ve attempted a move to St. Louis or another city…but i would go to St. Louis as they were good (in the past) in supporting their team.

  26. Lolz love seeing the greedy scumbag owners get theirs. Hopefully both teams fail miserably in LA and they lose money heavily in that market.

  27. NFL football has never worked in LA. Not sure why they would think it does again. And those two teams are lame teams to have, I wouldn’t be interested in going to see either one if I lived there.

  28. The NFL dropped the ball here big time.

    The one team that should have gone to LA was the Raiders, a team on the rise that would have put people in the seats.

    The Rams should have stayed in St. Louis where they won a title. Their problem is 2 decades of bad football that needs to be fixed regardless of location.

    The Chargers should have been the team to go to Vegas; the complaint about San Diego is that there are better things to do in southern California than go watch a team that’s never won anything, with a spotty history. So send them to the city where anyone in town will be willing to go watch an NFL game without having to worry about a team with no real identity or fan base.

    the Return of the quality Raiders team to LA would have been an easy sell-out

    the Chargers in Vegas will be nearly as good a draw as the Raiders will be; nobody cares who the team is.

    The Rams are going to get mediocre draws in whatever city they are in as long as they continue to play mediocre (at best) football.

  29. “84,000 attendance is also more than the Falcons-Packers game on Sunday Night Football in a brand new stadium, so by this logic, are the Packers and Falcons in trouble?”

    Of course not. 84,000 fans is a fine NFL crowd, 25,000 is humiliating and tiny by NFL standards. There are several teams that drew more to training camp practices than these teams did to actual games.

  30. @ dawsonleery says:
    September 18, 2017 at 11:43 am
    Chargers have no chance to survive in LA, it’s gonna get real ugly and they will be crawling back to San Diego or they could actually end up in St. Louis within the next 10 years.


    The only way SD would accept them back would be if Spanos sold the team, and the new owner and league pay for a new stadium, which of course wouldn’t happen.
    The city made it clear that they werent’ going foot the bill for a new sandbox for Spanos.

  31. Spanos should admit his mistake now. Get NFL assistance, start renovating Qualcomm at season end and move back to SD. Finish a $450 million renovation by the 2019 season. That’s the answer. The Carson test has failed. It’s unraveling and the NFL should call an emergency meeting to get this going….now! Spanos won’t sell the team at LA prices.

  32. I was hoping this would be the straw that broke Goodell’s back but he will have his long term extension in place long before the folly of having 2 teams in LA becomes and accepted fact.

  33. Fans would show up if the teams were comprised of something better than hot trash. The Rams have Josh Rosen 1.0 as their current interception machine, and the Chargers still refuse to sign a kicker, lowball their draft picks, and also spend 1st round draft picks on injured players two years in a row!

    The Rams are at least kind of fun to watch, but why would anyone care about the Chargers? Everybody knows they will leave in a few years anyways.

    The Chargers are charging $100 for parking, and the Rams are charging $50-$100 for parking despite the fact that it is widely available. Would you like pay $400 to go to a game to root for a team that is probably going to be down heading into the 4th quarter, and likely blow their one chance to tie/win the game if they’re even lucky enough to be in it?

  34. San Diego had 15 years to figure out how to help get a new stadium built. Now they can’t even figure out how to allow a stadium to be built for the MLS. San Diego has zero chance of ever having an NFL team. Spanos may be a jerk but the value of the Chargers doubled or maybe even tripled by moving.

  35. Here’s the answer if you all really want to know. L.A. is full of sophisticated people who aren’t going to spend their money on a game fit for middle america dimwits. Just like they don’t go to Nascar. It’s not that they are “fair weather.” They’ve turned out for the Angels and Dodgers for years during the lean times. Baseball and soccer are thinking mans’ sports. As for college, those stadiums are packed with kids. Those kids aren’t going to pro games and the adults are not going to either pro/college. Plus, they priced out the less sophisticated. It’s all sociology.

  36. The fair weather pro football fans in LA have never been able adequately to support even just one NFL franchise.
    _
    It’s not that they can’t, they don’t WANT to. Call it fair weather if you want but LA fans simply don’t care enough to support a team. If the team is winning and the games are “fun” they will go but LA citizens will find something else to do. I live in CA but not LA, I don’t really like LA but there is not a shortage of entertaining things to do there.

  37. There is nothing attractive about today’s NFL.

    Everything is falling apart.

    Next will probably be flag burning at half time…

  38. This was just another self inflicted embarrassment for Dean and family. They should be used to it by now. Yesterday was the first of eight this season.

  39. The moves should have went as followed.

    Chargers should have stayed or moved to Vegas

    Raiders to LA

    Rams should have stayed or moved to San Antonio

  40. Another bone-headed Goodell decision. Has this guy EVER made a good decision?
    =====

    It wasn’t up to Goodell.

    30 of 31 ownership groups backed teh move.

  41. lukedunphysscienceproject says:

    September 18, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    Penn State outdraws the Eagles and the Steelers

    Michigan outdraws the Lions

    Florida State outdraws The dolphins, the Jaguars, and the Buccaneers. So does Florida.

    Life goes on

    ——————————————————————————-
    You missed the point like several before you did as well. Saturday nights game in LA with USC had more than the RAMS on Sunday and the Chargers on Sunday combined. By your logic. The Bucs, Jags and Dolphins did not add up to FSU total and that didn’t happen nor would happen. Plus the Dolphins were on the road. The only place where you can compare his example in one City is LA. New York doesn’t play real college football.

  42. Chargers should have stayed or moved to Vegas

    Raiders to LA

    Rams should have stayed or moved to San Antonio
    =====

    Stan Kroenke was/IS the only owner with money and vision to make LA happen.. whether he succeeds?! Who knows!

    The League should have forced Spanos to sell.

  43. ctiggs says:

    September 18, 2017 at 1:21 pm

    I lived in LA and was told this.

    Raiders = Zach
    Rams = Slater
    Chargers = Screech.

    No further explanation needed than that.

    Today’s winner!


  44. richsabo says:
    September 18, 2017 at 11:36 am

    Here’s another stat that should scare the NFL even MORE…On Saturday the MLS Atlanta United match drew 70,425 fans…on Sunday the Falcons…NFC Champions…opening a brand new stadium drew 70,826. If the NFL isn’t careful, futbol is going to pass football as the most popular game here in the US as it does the rest of the world.

    ——————–
    In English language the game that involves the feet and the ball still called football. Besides the American football there are Australian, Gaelic and Association Football (called soccer in the US).

  45. LA market for the NFL is horrible and nobody cares. both of those teams will be gone in 10-15 years. Now that I mention it the NFL season has been subpar as a whole this season. Give me college ball over pro any day.

  46. johncrut says:
    September 18, 2017 at 12:50 pm
    San Diego had 15 years to figure out how to help get a new stadium built. Now they can’t even figure out how to allow a stadium to be built for the MLS. San Diego has zero chance of ever having an NFL team. Spanos may be a jerk but the value of the Chargers doubled or maybe even tripled by moving.
    ****************************************
    San Diego’s plan was to either renovate or build next to Qualcomm, which quite honestly was THE perfect place for a football stadium in the area (3 interstate highways and an existing trolley line). Spanos wanted the taxpayers to fund a downtown stadium instead. That was NEVER going to happen. The days of public money in California (and most elsewhere) for an NFL stadium are over. Proof? Bob Kraft. Stan Kroenke.

  47. On top of the $250 seats at StubHub Center they were charging ~$100 for General Parking per multiple reports. That’s just insane.

    As for the Rams, the Colosseum is a terrible place to watch a game. It’s not worth the $6 tickets to leave the comfort of my couch for that sinkhole. Hopefully after the new KronkeBowl opens USC will be able to perform some much needed rebuilding of the stadium from the ground up, while keeping the facade like they did in Chicago.

  48. This was as predictable as the sun rising in the east. The Chargers should never have left San Diego. It was criminal to move them. And now they can’t filla DIII facility.

    Mark Cuban was right.

  49. Spanos decided it was time to move to LA the day Sterling sold the LA Clippers for $2 billion. He saw that price tag and never looked back. The loyal fans of San Diego would have considered helping with building a new stadium, but Spanos wanted the fans to not only foot the entire bill for the new stadium, but also pay to sit in said stadium. The Chargers averaged 54,000 fans in 2016 knowing they were likely to leave town. It’s probably a good thing Dean chose the 27,000 seat soccer stadium for these next 3 years, because it would look really empty for a Charger game at the Coliseum. As a San Diego resident, I have to say that these 2 losses by the Chargers have given the fans a feeling of sweet revenge, even if they had no say in the matter. St. Louis and San Diego football fans deserved much better from the NFL.

  50. davew128 says:
    September 18, 2017 at 2:21 pm
    The days of public money in California (and most elsewhere) for an NFL stadium are over. Proof? Bob Kraft. Stan Kroenke.
    _______________

    Would that were true. Proof? Since Kraft built Gillette MN, Atlanta, SF, Dallas, AZ, Philly, GB, Detroit, Houston, Seattle, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Denver and soon to be LV have all either been built or majorly renovated with substantial public money. Only MetLife and LA are privately funded.

  51. sfsugator says:
    September 18, 2017 at 2:19 pm
    LA market for the NFL is horrible and nobody cares. both of those teams will be gone in 10-15 years. Now that I mention it the NFL season has been subpar as a whole this season. Give me college ball over pro any day.

    ————

    Fall and winter Sundays in sunny LA aren’t for sitting around watching football games. People go outside, which is a challenge in comparison to the North East.

    One of those teams needs to go on a Super Bowl run or two and then the market will start to switch. Winning is the only cure to that stuff. Then you will get more prime time games too, which is better for the LA market.

    Also, college ball is horrible compared to the NFL to me. I get that it’s exciting, but the quality of play is so bad in comparison.

  52. Peoples Republic of PFT says:
    September 18, 2017 at 12:09 pm
    Not a Mark Cuban…but he was right. Just add the Chargers move to the side of the ledger titled Reasons “The NFL No Longer Exists”
    1. Concussions
    2. Exporting Games
    3. Thursday Night Games
    4. Weak Players Union
    5. Two Teams in LA
    6. Etc.

    —————

    He wasn’t right at all. The league is doing better than ever. These problems have always been there and the league revenues keep growing. NFL games destroy any other programming including World Series games, NBA championships, etc. It’s doing just fine.

    Cuban says one dumb thing, coming from a frustrated NBA owner, and people all take it seriously. It’s a joke!

  53. I hope Spanos ends up losing money on the deal.
    He’ll be paying Kroneke rent every year, plus money to the NFL for moving.
    It would be great if the LAC remain bad and draw poorly and end up netting less than they did in SD.

  54. Just wait for the PSLs to kick in at the Inglewood site. It’s all the corporates and ticket brokers holding the tickets. That’s a significant problem for building any fan base. So unless the corporations and ticket brokers are buying hats and jerseys and shirts, the fan base is shrinking. The NFL and their TV deals with these local crappy teams are now turning off fans all together. No one cares about the Chargers or Rams. Get that?

  55. True but slightly misleading to include the Chargers as they sold 94% of their 27K seating capacity. Even if the Chargers sold-out the total would still be lower. More of a Rams issue.

  56. @pigchampion says:

    I live here in LA and as a die hard football fan i would much rather watch on my big screen in HD then get gouged and deal with traffic in order to watch some really terrible football. Cant change the channel in the stadium
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    Great statement…”can’t change the channel in the stadium”! And I bet you avoided the drunks, the nasty bathrooms and price gouging for everything.

  57. @ sellingadream says:

    re: Chargers – Average and median ticket price is over $300 – EACH! Many are over $600. Over $100 dollars to park. Yeah. Every fan in America would pay those prices 🙂

    People in LA aren’t stupid enough to get gouged like that.
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    You mean not everybody in LA is wealthy? LA Coliseum…great venue…30 years ago!

  58. jonwill57 says:
    September 18, 2017 at 3:28 pm
    @pigchampion says:

    I live here in LA and as a die hard football fan i would much rather watch on my big screen in HD then get gouged and deal with traffic in order to watch some really terrible football. Cant change the channel in the stadium
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    Great statement…”can’t change the channel in the stadium”! And I bet you avoided the drunks, the nasty bathrooms and price gouging for everything.

    ——————-
    if you have DirectTV season ticket you cant change it at home either. Not on.

  59. With the amount of people leaving the Sanctuary State, who have the money to spend on these events, I’m not sure this is going to end well for the ticket agencies that buy up all the seats and double the price.

  60. aliveguy24 says:
    September 18, 2017 at 11:40 am
    Chargers are going to be back in San Diego sooner than later

    ———————–
    According to the article San Diego State was already outselling them back home too. It sounds like that ship has sailed.

  61. The Rams can probably survive in LA but calling it a success will depend on how one defines success.
    The Chargers……….who knows what will be the end result for them, but no, they wont survive in LA. I dont even think retreating back to San Diego is an option for them now that the Raiders will be in Las Vegas.

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