On Saturday, the Los Angeles Rams held their “Family Day” at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
The Rams built it up as a momentous occasion for the city of Los Angeles to welcome the team home into what will serve as their home field for the next three years, leaning on that as the primary “family” angle of “Family Day”:
It’s a day for all members of the “Rams Family” – players, coaches, staff, and most importantly the fans – to celebrate the Rams coming home to Los Angeles as the team takes the field at the Coliseum for the first time, a week before we host the Cowboys in the first NFL game in LA in 22 years.
Clearly, it was meant to be a big deal. And following the news that an LA-area “Legends” game had been cancelled due to low fan interest after a very successful similar St. Louis-area event offered a fitting closure to the last era of Rams football, many pointed to the upcoming “Family Day” as a marker to prove that Los Angeles was going to show up in big numbers for the Rams.
The number that started getting bandied about was 80,000, and as far as I can tell that started when the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Jim Thomas cited that number in his report on the cancellation of the LA “Legends” game:
The Rams are expecting a huge crowd for Saturday's training camp scrimmage at the Los Angeles Coliseum, perhaps as many as 80,000, and could be putting more efforts into promoting that event.
And with reports that the Cleveland Browns poured more than 40k+ into their training camp scrimmage just hours ahead of the Rams’, the expectations on attendance were high.
And how many Rams fans came out to the Coliseum?
Less than 30,000.
Nearly 30,000 fans came out to watch the Rams practice today at the Coliseum. Many started leaving early, presumably to beat traffic.— Jack Wang (@thejackwang) August 7, 2016
It’s only fair to ask at this point how interested Los Angeles really is in the Rams. I don’t mean that as a slight to the city, but more in terms of setting the bar.
The Rams are benefiting from an expected surge of support after returning to LA following a two decade-plus era in St. Louis. It’s only logical to expect support to wane somewhat following that surge.
But to bring in less than 30k on the same day the Browns (the BROWNS) had more than 42k show up? To the first scrimmage held at the Coliseum? After 22 years away?
It’s fair to ask.
Is Los Angeles all that interested in Rams football?