Friday, April 7, 2017

The Los Angeles Rams Weekly

LA Rams Tops In NFL In Ticket Revenue In 2016. The LA market shelled out big time for the Rams in 2016. Can it (or will it) continue to do so in 2017 and beyond?

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s Daniel Kaplan is reporting that the Los Angeles Rams were the top contributor to the NFL’s ticket revenue pool meaning they took in more revenue than any other team in 2016.
The team in 2016 was the top contributor to the shared pool of ticket revenue among the 32 clubs. The team contributed $27 million to the pool, said a source who provided some of the internal league rankings.
Teams contribute one-third of their ticket revenue to the shared pool, which would put the Rams’ ticket revenue in the neighborhood of $80 million. The shared revenue is evenly divided among the league’s 32 teams.
The Rams were second in the NFL in total home attendance in 2016 with 665,318 attendees behind just the Dallas Cowboys who brought in 740,318 in Arlington, though attendance isn’t a direct output of sales. There were plenty of empty patches.

The reasons why are obvious. A huge market, regional upper class economic strength and the pent up demand after two-plus decades of the NFL’s absence from the market.

The question is sustainability.

As Kaplan continued:
The Rams had empty seats as the club flailed to a 4-12 finish, but those seats were still sold. The team took advantage of the heady days in the aftermath of the January 2016 relocation vote to sell 70,000 season tickets to the coliseum (the club also had 10,000 tickets a game available for walk-up sales).
The team’s policy putting coliseum ticket holders first in line for seats at the new stadium, scheduled to open in 2019, is also a sales spur. Season-ticket packages for the Rams reportedly ran from $360 a seat up to $2,025.
Remember that by early December, the honeymoon had worn off quite visibly:
So there’s legitimate concern that the supremacy in ticket revenue came on the strength of built-in demand that will wane with time, ESPECIALLY if the Rams can’t put up winning football.

With a new head coach in Sean McVay and a new stadiumplexasaurus coming in 2019, there’s reason to buy into early hope. Right now though, it’s just hope. Fans were willing to show up in huge numbers and at huge cost on hope alone in 2016. That faded. Should it fade again, the Rams might find themselves having squandered a homecoming that was cherished by so many.

With another NFL team in the market, there’s significantly more pressure than last season to make good on the hope. Here’s to seeing signs of as much happen sooner rather than later.
The Rams “Huddle” in the Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA)
Photo by Kirby Lee
This month, the Rams, in partnership with United Way, hosted a special Hometown Huddle event for students from the Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA) organization. The Rams front office staff joined players Rodger Saffoldand Nelson Spruce at Lafayette Park in Los Angeles to host a special PLAY 60 event for 150 students from the Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA), a non-profit organization dedicated to providing academic, art and athletic programs to underserved youth.

At Hometown Huddle, students participated in football drills, interacted with PLAY60 inflatables and heard from Saffold and Spruce regarding the importance of being physically active for at least 60 minutes every day.

“It’s always nice to give back when you get the chance,” Saffold shared. “Making sure the kids are playing for 60 minutes a day is important to me.”

Hometown Huddle is a league-wide initiative to promote youth health and wellness, connecting the NFL’s PLAY 60, which encourages children to be active for 60 minutes a day, with United Way’s goal to get more young people active and healthy.

For nearly a decade, NFL PLAY 60 has brought together the NFL's long-standing commitment to health and fitness with partner organizations to increase physical activity among youth. Since the program was launched in 2007, the NFL has committed more than $325 million to youth health and fitness through programming, grants, and media time for public service announcements.

Founded in 1989, Heart of Los Angeles began when Mitchel Moore, a young professional in the community, became concerned with the youth living in the Rampart District of Los Angeles. In an effort to address the issue of youth gang violence, Moore sought to create a “safe space” for students and community members to play basketball, learn about art, music and dance and get help with homework. Today, in partnership with L.A. City Department of Recreation and Parks, HOLA serves over 2,300 children and students annually, through structured academic, arts and athletic programs on our four-building campus.
Rams Unveil Uniforms for 2017 Season
The Los Angeles Rams unveiled today their home uniform for the 2017 season.

In 2017, the Los Angeles Rams will once again wear white uniforms at home as a modern nod back to the team’s history in the Coliseum and in Los Angeles.  The Rams will wear a white-horned navy helmet with a white face mask.  The pants will be white with one navy stripe down the side.  No design changes are being made to their jersey which will remain the white jersey with navy and gold accents that they wore at home in 2016.

Earlier this week, the Rams announced they were evolving their uniforms for 2017 and asked the fans for feedback.  Fans voted through Rams social media handles on Twitter (@RamsNFL) and Facebook (@Rams) between one and two stripes on the pants and between a white and navy face mask for the helmet.  More than 90,000 fans voted over the past 48 hours.

The Los Angeles Rams’ original blue white-horned helmets, accompanied by a grey face mask, were worn between 1964 and 1972.  Many Rams Legends donned these classics, including the “Fearsome Foursome” of ROSEY GRIER, DEACON JONES, LAMAR LUNDY and MERLIN OLSEN, and quarterback ROMAN GABRIEL

“This just goes to show all the hard work my teammates and I put in while wearing those uniforms isn't forgotten,” said Gabriel. “We loved those uniforms and wore them with pride. I know the current players will wear their uniforms, especially the white horns, with just as much pride."

The Rams re-introduced these iconic helmets last season for their Thursday Night Football game at Seattle and the great response from their fans inspired the choice to wear them this coming season.
For their inaugural season back home in Los Angeles, the Rams last year introduced a new tradition of wearing white uniforms for home games.  The jersey and pants were white with navy and gold accents, while the helmet was navy with a gold horn and navy facemask. 

The team is currently exploring a full rebrand, including new uniforms that will be unveiled in 2019 to coincide with the opening of the new LA Stadium and Entertainment District at Hollywood Park.
Rams Agree to Terms with C John Sullivan
Los Angeles has agreed to terms with free agent center John Sullivan, helping fill one need along the offensive line. 

Sullivan served as the Vikings’ center from 2009-2014, starting 93 games. He was named to Pro Football Writers of America’s All-NFC team in 2012, when running back Adrian Peterson rushed for 2,097 yards. 

While Sullivan missed the 2015 season with a back injury, he does have experience in head coach Sean McVay’s offense, serving as the backup center in Washington last year. Sullivan made one start for Washington — a 27-22 victory over the Eagles on Dec. 11. In that game, Washington had 334 total yards, including 107 rushing, and quarterback Kirk Cousins was sacked only twice.

The Rams had a need at center, after releasing former starter Tim Barnes at the start of free agency. The club had previously extended a two-year offer sheet to Bills restricted free agent Ryan Groy, which Buffalo decided to match last month.

Rams Announce 2017 Offseason Program Dates
Head coach Sean McVay and the Los Angeles Rams will get a head start on their offseason programs this year. Per NFL rule, new head coaches are entitled to conduct an additional voluntary veteran minicamp. This year, five clubs will hold voluntary veteran minicamps. In addition to 10 organized team activities (OTAs). The offseason program is closed to the public. 

The Rams Offseason Workout Program calendar:
First Day: April 10
OTA Offseason Workouts: May 23-25, May 30-31, June 1, June 5-8
Voluntary Minicamp: April 25-27
Mandatory Minicamp: June 13-15

Voluntary offseason workout programs are intended to provide training, teaching and physical conditioning for players.

As per Article 21 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, each club’s official, voluntary nine-week offseason program is conducted in three phases:

Rams Phase One:
First Day:
April 10

Phase One consists of the first two weeks of the program with activities limited to strength and conditioning and physical rehabilitation only.

Rams Phase Two:
First Day:
May 1

Phase Two consists of the next three weeks of the program. On-field workouts may include individual player instruction and drills as well as team practice conducted on a “separates” basis. No live contact or team offense vs. team defense drills are permitted.

Rams Phase Three:
OTA Offseason Workouts:
May 23-25, May 30-31, June 1, June 5-8

Phase Three consists of the next four weeks of the program. Teams may conduct a total of 10 days of organized team practice activity, or “OTAs”. No live contact is permitted, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are permitted.

Article 22 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement stipulates that clubs may hold one mandatory minicamp for veteran players. This minicamp, noted below, must occur during Phase Three of the offseason program.

Each club will also hold a rookie football development program for a period of seven weeks, which in 2017, which is permitted to begin on May 15.

2017-18 Los Angeles Rams Cheerleaders Announced
The 2017-18 Los Angeles Rams Cheerleaders were announced at USC's Bovard Auditorium on Sunday. Check out the final roster!

A satirical look at more than 75 years of Football's Rams history, combined with discussions of American Exceptionalism and almost 50 years of personal experience in the life of a Rams Fan. The history parallels and intertwines life to form a humorous, yet serious look at American HistoryWorld History, an American Football team, and Political Science.