The Los Angeles Rams are on course for the worst attendance drop since 1993, and their fellow Los Angeles NFL team isn’t much better.
The Rams have filled 26,087 fewer seats this season than last season. That’s far and away the worst season in decades — next on the list is Tampa Bay, which saw a loss of 17,525 tickets in 1996.
FiveThirtyEight.com speculates that part of the problem may be that the Rams’ first season since returning to Los Angeles was the most successful of any new or relocated team in 25 years — they had the highest single-game and total attendance among the nine teams relocated since 1993. But last year the Rams went 4-12, and through two games at home this season, the team is averaging 58,000 fans per game. They would need to attract an average of 70,000 fans per game for the remaining five home games to avoid breaking Tampa Bay’s record.
The statistics came out just as Rams defensive end Ethan Westbrooks was arrested Friday on suspicion of carrying a loaded stolen firearm. He now faces five felony charges, according to the NFL. He is already facing charges of domestic violence in Sacramento.
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Meanwhile, the San Diego Chargers have a half-full stadium, playing in a soccer venue with only 27,167 seats, according to FiveThirtyEight.com. The Chargers in two years will be become tenants at the Rams’ new stadium in Inglewood, which is expected to open in 2020.
For those playing the home game, football on TV suffered drops in ratings from last year on NBC and Fox, though CBS had a 4 percent increase over this week last year. Forbes.com described the decline as “mild, not massive,” despite ongoing controversies over the NFL and concussions, NFL players and the national anthem, and Twitter criticism from President Donald Trump.
However, Forbes speculates that the declines may be due to viewers “cutting the cord” and switching their entertainment choices to streaming services rather than network broadcasts.