For the first time in 21 years, Los Angeles has a football team. The Rams, who moved from St. Louis, Mo. have returned to Los Angeles, their home from 1946 to 1994. Their first season back was not the best in the team’s history, winning only four games throughout the season and coming in 32nd in yards per play and yards per pass. The team also only scored 224 points throughout the entire season, the lowest of all teams. But the team is giving it their all while playing in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum as they await their new stadium, to be finished in 2019.
While the arrival of a football team in Los Angeles has raised both excitement and speculation, even more curiosity arrived early this year when the San Diego Chargers revealed they would also be moving to Los Angeles for the 2017 NFL season. With no new stadium set, the Chargers will be playing in the smallest professional football stadium holding only 30,000 seats, also the current home of the LA Galaxy soccer team.
The Chargers are not only moving a whopping 115 miles to Los Angeles, but are also risking losing the millions of fans they have developed in San Diego over the past 56 years. But, they are returning to the city they played in during their first year in the American Football League in 1960. While their time in Los Angeles only lasted for one year, they have always had fans in LA. The question remains though, whether or not those fans will come out and support their new home team?
Unfortunately, both teams have not had their strongest seasons in the last few years. The Rams’ first season in Los Angeles only granted them four wins, while the Chargers last two seasons have put them at 4-12 and 5-11. So, with two teams ranked towards the bottom of the NFL, can Los Angeles provide the support these two teams need to get back on the upswing?
After 20 years of no football team at all, Los Angeles is the second city to have two professional football teams (East Rutherford, New Jersey housing the New York Jets and the New York Giants), but while some believe that a huge financial benefit could come from the new sports addition, modern economists say that the money spent on sporting events would be spent on other forms of entertainment anyway, meaning any financial gains to the city would be small.
Los Angeles already has numerous other highly ranked professional and college sports teams that are well loved and well supported. More importantly, they do well. They have two professional baseball teams, two basketball teams (who also play in the same arena), two hockey teams, and USC and UCLA, one of the biggest college rivalries in the US.
So, the question as to whether Los Angeles can handle and support two professional football teams is still to be answered. But the consensus, heard from murmurs around town, is that one football team is enough, especially if they do not perform well.
In order to gain the respect and support of the people of Los Angeles, both the Rams and the Chargers are going to have to work a lot harder and improve their standing in the NFL before they can be fully supported.