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NFL still 'confident' Los Angeles will embrace Rams, Chargers

82   //    19 Sep 2017, 04:28 IST
Rams make their entrance at the Coliseum

For the first time since 1994, Los Angeles has two NFL teams. Both the Rams and the Chargers had home games and the attendances were underwhelming.

The Chargers failed to sell out the 27,000-seat StubHub Center in their home opener against the Miami Dolphins, while the Rams drew a little more than 56,000 fans in their 27-20 loss to the Washington Redskins at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum – a stadium with a capacity of 93,000. 

Despite the poor turnout on Sunday, the NFL is still optimistic the Los Angeles market will embrace two teams.

"To a person, both at the club level and here at the league office, we remain confident that the city of Los Angeles can support in a very strong way two franchises, and we're committed to making that happen as we work toward the opening of the new stadium," league spokesman Joe Lockhart said during a media conference call on Monday.

The Rams and Chargers had a combined attendance of 81,000 fans, which was 3,000 fans fewer than those who showed up to watch USC and Texas play at the Coliseum on Saturday. 

Television ratings have also been low for the Rams, who moved back to Los Angeles last year after 21 seasons in St Louis, and the Chargers, who are in their first season in LA after 60 years in San Diego. 

The Coliseum and StubHub Center are just temporary homes for the Rams and the Chargers, who are expected to share a new stadium in Inglewood beginning in 2020. 

Lockhart said the teams "knew going in this wasn't a one game or a one-year solution, where they could just turn the light on and expect the type of support they are very confident they’re going to get as they move to the opening of the new stadium."

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