The so-called Fight for L.A. could end up being a second-round TKO.
The Rams and Chargers share the Los Angeles market. Soon, they’ll share a stadium. As a result, the competition for fans (and the dollars they carry around in their pockets) is real, no matter how much either team may try to downplay it.
And the Rams are winning, decisively for now. As one league source explained it on Tuesday night, the Rams realize they need star power to attract crowds. By building a solid nucleus of young talent from 2013 through 2017 (Aaron Donald, Lamarcus Joyner, Todd Gurley, Jared Goff, Cooper Kupp), the Rams have now shifted to veteran mode, adding players with sizzle who will help sell suites, premium seats, and PSLs at a $5 billion stadium in Inglewood.
Even though the stadium won’t open for two more years, the effort to get financial commitments is ongoing, and the Rams surely are in better position than the Chargers to fill the place up. If you were choosing right now whether to commit to purchasing the ability to purchase season tickets, year-in and year-out, for one of the two L.A. teams, which one would it be? And would you even have to think about it?
The Chargers, meanwhile, have yet to embrace the concept of paying/trading for stars, opting for the more conventional means of constructing an NFL roster. And, in turn, relying on winning as the means to lure fans to the new stadium.
At some point, the Chargers will have to adjust that approach, if they truly hope to compete with the Rams in the L.A. Even though the Chargers’ approach could result in the development of a better team, that approach doesn’t work in Los Angeles. The Rams have figured that out, collecting star players and creating the kind of “what will they do next?” vibe that always plays well in Hollywood.