10. California is Broke—Los Angeles cannot afford a new stadium. (Top)
California definitely has its problems, there is no doubt about that and the state's financial crisis has reared its ugly head in San Diego and San Francisco in their search for a new stadium. Los Angeles, however, is immune from the state's budget crisis because the two stadium proposals will be funded 100% by private funds. While public funds may work in some cities with the right deal, L.A. is not one of those towns and this is why AEG and Majestic Realty have stepped up to the plate offering their own money to build a stadium and bring the NFL (and hopefully the Rams) back.
9. Los Angeles doesn't want an NFL team: USC is LA's team. (Top)
While it is true that USC has a very large following in the Los Angeles area (as does the UCLA Bruins), it doesn't change the fact that Southern California wants NFL football. When the Rams were in Los Angeles, attendance figures were one of the best from 1946-1994 and when the Los Angeles Rams were on television, the ratings were much higher than when a neutral game was on.
Los Angeles wants an NFL team, the city and region wants to be a part of the great success that is the National Football League; we are just waiting for the right situation: the return of our Los Angeles Rams.
8. The Rams weren't LA's team, they played in Anaheim. (Top)
The Rams played at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum from 1946 to 1979 for a total of 34 years and played at Anaheim Stadium (now Angel Stadium) from 1980 to 1994 for a total of 15 years. The Rams were Southern California's team, whether they were in Los Angeles or Anaheim.
The reason the Rams left Los Angeles for Anaheim in 1980 was because then-Rams owner Carrol Rosenbloom wanted a more modern stadium (club seats, luxury suites, and modern ammenities) and was willing to foot the bill himself to renovate the Coliseum. When the Coliseum Commission kept putting him off, he began to look for other options in Southern California. At the time, multi-purpose stadiums were common and he wanted either Dodger Stadium or Anaheim Stadium to be expanded. The O'Malley family (then-owners of the Dodgers and their stadium) refused to accomodate Rosenbloom, while Anaheim actively courted the Rams and agreed to pay for the stadium expansion.
7. Los Angeles is not a football town. (Top)
15 of the top 20 attendance figures in the NFL were in Los Angeles. The Rams also set the all-time attendance record in 1957 with over 102,000 fans packing the Coliseum. While Los Angeles and Southern California loves baseball and basketball, the huge crowds that attend football games in LA are proof enough that the city of Angels is indeed a football town. The Rams drew well above the NFL average during their existence and the USC and UCLA football programs draw well above 60 and 70 thousand fans on a regular basis. On top of the overwhelming support for the local teams, the Los Angeles area produces many college football and NFL stars. As a matter of fact, the Pac-12 conference's success has a lot to do with the vast amount of football talent in the Los Angeles area.
6. St. Louis deserves a football team over Los Angeles. (Top)
St. Louis is a baseball town, plain and simple. Throughout their history as an NFL city, the gateway city has only shown nominal support of its pro football franchises. The St. Louis (football) Cardinals consistently had one of the worst attendance figures from 1960 to 1987 (when the team moved to Phoenix) and the Rams only sold out during their honeymoon year in 1995 and the few years following their Super Bowl run. Even with a Super Bowl championship, St. Louis has drawn around or below the NFL average during its time with the Rams. Los Angeles, on the other hand, drew well above the NFL average and set multiple attendance records.
5. The stadium proposals are just talk, they will fail just like all the others. (Top)
There is a lot of skepticism out there concerning the return of the NFL to Los Angeles, and rightly so; there have been many failed proposals in the last 15 years concerning a new football stadium. There have been proposals in Anaheim, Carson, Irwindale, Inglewood, the Coliseum site, and downtown. What makes these two proposals different? The players involved. Both Majestic Realty and AEG have a track record of making things happen in Southern California and to doubt either of them would be a large mistake. In the end, however, only one of the two stadium proposals will end up being built, but thanks to the players involved, the best plan will be the eventual winner and Southern California (and the Rams) will be better off because of it.
4. Los Angeles is a Raiders town, they would be a better fit in L.A. (Top)
This could not be a bigger lie. During their short stint in Los Angeles, the Raiders were the distant second team to the Rams. Even after winning the Super Bowl in the City of Angels, the Raiders could not draw well because no one was going to abandon their Rams and join up with the infamous "Raider Nation." The Raiders would often average crowds in the low 40,000s only reaching the 80,000/90,000 mark when visiting teams like the 49ers, Chargers, and Rams and their fans came to the Coliseum. During those games, at least half of the fans were cheering for the "visiting" team. The NFL tried to stop the Raiders from moving, but it was impossible to stop Al Davis. The silver and black never belonged in Los Angeles and the fans here do not want that team to bring its owner and all of its problems to Southern California. Also, the Raiders DO NOT still own the Los Angeles market no matter what the Raiders organization tries to say.
3. The Rams never had a decent following in Los Angeles/Anaheim. (Top)
The Los Angeles Rams led the NFL in attendance 11 times in franchise history, spent a majority of their time in the top 5, and averaged well over the NFL average during their stay in the City of Angels. The television ratings were also significantly higher when the Rams were in Los Angeles as opposed to ratings of random teams (including the Raiders) on television in Southern California during the previous 16 seasons. The Rams were at one point the pride and joy of Los Angeles and they had a very large following both when they played at the Coliseum and Anaheim Stadium.
2. Los Angeles has lost too many teams, they don't deserve another NFL team. (Top)
There have been five teams that have called Los Angeles home, that information alone seems fairly damning towards Los Angeles football fans. Let's look at the situations surrounding each of the teams' eventual demise:
The Buccaneers were a team that claimed L.A. to be its home in 1926. They were a traveling team that only played two preseason games in the City of Angels. Because of the cost of travel in the 1920s, the NFL made the decision to have the team be based in Chicago and play an all-road schedule. The idea only lasted a season because there was no actual connection to Los Angeles other than the use of California college football players.
The Rams came around in 1946 and were instantly embraced by the city and region and have the attendance figures to prove it. As a matter of fact, average attendance figures above 70,000 were common and they very rarely had average attendance figures below 60,000.
While the Rams were in Los Angeles, the AAFC tried to compete with the Rams with the establishment of the Los Angeles Dons. When the AAFC merged with the NFL in 1950, the NFL decided to fold the Dons because they could not compete with the Rams.
The same happened with the Chargers of the American Football League. The Chargers had a very successful inaugural season in Los Angeles, reaching the AFL title game. Despite a solid product on the field, the Chargers failed to achieve attendance figures even remotely approaching those of the Rams. Clearly the Rams were Los Angeles and Los Angeles was the Rams.
Even when the Raiders came to town in the 1980s and promptly won the Super Bowl, the Rams still had better attendance figures with the Raiders bringing in a little over 40,000 fans for most of their games while the Rams had 50-60,000 fans in attendance. The Rams were the pride and joy of Los Angeles and people weren't going to abandon their team to support a new team.
Does this mean that L.A. cannot support two teams? Not necessarily if the second team is run correctly, but people should remember that Los Angeles' pro football history was defined by the Rams.
1. Los Angeles has bad sports fans, they only support a winner. (Top)
A very common misconception is the fact that Los Angeles is full of bandwagon fans that only support a winner. While winning helps any team's attendance figures, Los Angeles has a history of supporting teams in the good and bad years.
The Los Angeles Dodgers continually have one of the highest attendance figures and they have not won a championship since 1988. Even with the troubles the team has been going through with ownership and sub-par performance on the field, the Dodgers are still in the top 10 in attendance.
The Angels also have a history of fans coming out to support them even in the bad years. Before their world championship in 2002, they drew well over two million fans a season (also well above the Major League average) despite having an abysmal record and only making the playoffs three times in 42 years. After 2002, they have drawn over three million fans a season and in 2011, they were the only team in the top 5 in attendance to not make the playoffs in 2010.
The Lakers obviously have a very large fan base because of their winning history, but they filled the Forum and fill Staples Center when they have down years.
The Clippers, on the other hand, do not have a winning history and have only made it out of the first round of the playoffs once in franchise history. Despite the Clippers uninspiring history, they still draw above the NBA average with almost 18,000 fans a game. The fans are so great here that the NBA is considering putting a third team in the Los Angeles area!
Even untraditional sports in Southern California like hockey do very well at the gate and on the ice. Los Angeles supports two MLB teams, two NBA teams (going on three!), two NHL teams, and two MLS team; we will definitely support a National Football League franchise . . . something L.A. did for 50 years with the Los Angeles Rams.