The Los Angeles Rams probably won’t have as many Rams fans in attendance at SoFi Stadium as there are 49ers fans. That was likely the case in both home games last season, including the NFC Championship, and it appears to be the case on Sunday as the two teams are set to face again this afternoon. According to Vivid Seats Fan Forecast, the 49ers are expected to have “59% of the crowd” in Week 8.
But the Rams don’t have the time or luxury to worry about that. Those are the circumstances and it didn’t stop L.A. from winning the Super Bowl last year.
The Rams moved to Los Angeles in 1946, opening the door for teams like the 49ers to even exist, because prior to then no professional sports team had ever existed west of the Mississippi. The Rams stayed in L.A. until 1994 and then moved to St. Louis. That’s almost 50 years of history in Los Angeles and there are still countless Rams fans in Southern California.
But there was also over 20 years for SoCal residents to choose a different NFL team to root for. And many people who live in L.A. moved to California from somewhere else, meaning that millions of residents didn’t come as “NFL free agents.” They already had teams. It could and should take many years for the Rams to re-establish themselves as a local favorite, but they also have to compete with the 49ers up the road, the Cowboys (who hold training camp in nearby Oxford and always travel well), and the Raiders.
It is really no shock that the Rams sometimes have to play at home with more away jerseys in the crowd than at home. I don’t even see it as a “brag” for the away team, such as the 49er in Week 8. The 49ers didn’t do anything to make that happen. The Rams didn’t do anything to make it happen either.
The Rams have likely gained at least hundreds of thousands of fans since moving back to L.A. in 2016, reaching the Super Bowl twice, winning it once, and always making headlines with star-studded acquisitions. But you don’t hear about the fact that the Rams are more popular now than they ever were in St. Louis. You only hear, “Well, the Rams are not as popular as the away team in their home stadium.”
That’s not something that the Rams have any time to worry about, nor do Rams fans. It really does not matter and it’s out of everyone’s control. Gaining that part of homefield advantage was always going to take more than a decade. The only thing the Rams can control is beating the 49ers on Sunday, no matter who is watching.