Rams May Lose Home-Field Advantage in Los Angeles to Visiting San Francisco 49ers

The NFC championship game on Sunday is supposed to be a home game for Los Angeles, but beware of an influx of 49ers fans

San Francisco 49ers fans cheer against the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium. There might be a large contingent of 49ers fans at the playoff game Sunday, which is a home game for the Rams in L.A.
San Francisco 49ers fans cheer against the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium.
Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty

With this year’s Super Bowl scheduled to take place on February 13, SoFi Stadium will be playing host to two more NFL games this season, starting with the NFC championship game on Sunday between the fourth-seeded Los Angeles Rams and sixth-seeded San Francisco 49ers.

The winner of that game will be back at SoFi for the Super Bowl next month and San Fransisco fans plan to do as much as they can to make sure it is the visitors, not the Rams, who win and get to take the field in Los Angeles two times in the next three weeks.

To make that happen, 49ers fans will have to score tickets on the secondary market from Rams season-ticket holders who purchased seats at Sunday’s NFC Championship Game. During ticket sales for the game, the Rams were so worried about San Fran fans buying tickets that they placed a restriction on sales outside the Los Angeles area. “Public sales to the (NFC Championship) game at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, CA will be restricted to residents of the Greater Los Angeles region,” per a note from Ticketmaster. “Residency will be based on credit card billing address at checkout.”

Those restrictions have since been lifted and there are no restrictions on tickets being re-sold to 49ers fans, so the Rams should be very concerned that playing on their home field will feel like a road game. That already happened earlier this month when the Rams and 49ers met in the regular-season finale and fans of the visitors were so loud that Los Angeles had to use a silent count on offense. It didn’t work out for the Rams as the 49ers won 27-24 in overtime and clinched a playoff berth.

“I’ve never seen so many of the opposing team’s fans at a game, and we came from Detroit,” Kelly Stafford, wife of Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford, said during a recent podcast. “Matthew was on a silent count, Jimmy Garoppolo was not. . . . It was crazy. Again, I’ve never seen anything like that but it made it very hard for us, because I guess we weren’t expecting to be on the silent count.”

A horde of loud San Francisco fans descending on SoFi would only increase the pressure on a Rams team that has lost to the 49ers six straight times despite being the favorite in nearly every one of those games. The Rams are favored again on Sunday and will try to avoid losing to the underdogs for the seventh straight time. The Cowboys and Packers couldn’t.

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