The Rams fear another red-shirt “49er takeover” in their stands for Sunday's NFC title game, and refused to sell tickets to Bay Area fans, but then did a red-faced 180 after nationwide mockery.
What’s unusual about the image above, taken shortly before a January 9, 2022 49ers-Rams game at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, is that it was taken at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood. The predominantly 49ers-supporting crowd in the Southern California stadium that day may have helped the 49ers come back from 17-0 deficit to a 27-24 overtime win. It also earned the Rams’ stadium, which struggles to attract home fans, an unflattering new nickname.
We back at Lil Levis!!!!— P-Lo (@p_lo) January 24, 2022
So when the 49ers’ Saturday night playoff win set up the possibility of a 49ers-Rams rematch at that very same stadium, the Rams organization quickly moved to prevent another 49ers red-out on their own home turf. As seen below, The Rams ordered Ticketmaster ticket sales to be “restricted to residents of the Greater Los Angeles region,” and said “Orders by resident outside the Greater Los Angeles region will be canceled without notice and refunds given.”
It appears the Rams are already afraid that the 49ers will again make SoFi Stadium their home — they're trying to restrict ticket sales for a potential NFC title game by geography.— David Lombardi (@LombardiHimself) January 23, 2022
IMO pathetic and also premature — LA isn't even in the title game yet pic.twitter.com/G8VmbG9muv
This cowardly act drew nationwide ridicule, as it is a clear sign that the Rams’ $5.5 billion stadium still cannot draw a hometown fanbase, and begs the question of whether the franchise was better off in St. Louis. Also, don't they know there's a huge population of Niners Faithful who live around LA?
The cheapest current ticket for Sunday's NFC Championship Game between the Rams and 49ers at SoFi Stadium is over $600. One ticket broker just told me, "It's going to be a sea of red again. Rams fans are growing, but they aren't paying $600 for nosebleed tickets. Not happening." pic.twitter.com/RWC4EsUYxk— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) January 23, 2022
We can laugh (and we will!) but this points to a larger problem for the NFL. They were so eager to put teams in Los Angeles, which had no teams from 1996-2016, but now they have two — and both are struggling to sell tickets. The 49ers meanwhile, and thrilled to play in Los Angeles. They’ve beaten these Rams the last six consecutive times they’ve played, and who knows, maybe this could be a two-week trip.
The Super Bowl is also being played in Inglewood’s SoFi Stadium.
Image: INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 09: Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers waves to fans before the game against the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium on January 09, 2022 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)