After the Los Angeles Rams clinched their berth in the NFC championship game by defeating the defending Super Bowl champions the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with a 30–27 victory, all eyes turned to the rematch with the division rival, the San Francisco 49ers. Fans hurried to secondary markets in search of game tickets, only to discover that they were not available to everyone.
A message on Ticketmaster warned customers that only those with a Los Angeles-based zip code could buy the tickets to SoFi Stadium, presumably in response to the large presence of San Francisco fans when the two teams played in Los Angeles for Week 18.
.@49ers fans took over LA🤯
Listen to the reaction on Stafford’s game-ending INT
— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) January 11, 2022
A day later, that notification was deleted, allowing 49ers fans to re-enter the game.
According to ABC7, the Rams announced in a statement that tickets for the match were sold out during a weekend presale, thus the limitation has been relaxed. Meanwhile, Ticketmaster said it was the club who decided to impose the restriction.
“Ticketmaster works on behalf of our clients, the event organizers,” the firm said to ABC7. “Ultimately these decisions lay with them and we act at their direction.”
The cheapest current ticket for Sunday's NFC Championship Game between the Rams and 49ers at SoFi Stadium is over $600. One ticket broker just told me, "It's going to be a sea of red again. Rams fans are growing, but they aren't paying $600 for nosebleed tickets. Not happening." pic.twitter.com/RWC4EsUYxk
— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) January 23, 2022
The maneuver is identical to one made by the Titans for their division game against the Bengals. In an effort to limit resales, Tennessee tightened the ticket transfer window to 24 hours before the game.
The last time the 49ers visited Inglewood, in the regular season finale in 2021, San Francisco fans packed the stands at SoFi Stadium, making the Rams’ home game look like a road game against an NFC West opponent.
Just to put a final point on this: There are no general ticket sales. The Rams, it seems, we’re *going to* attempt this limitation if season-ticket holders didn’t buy up the inventory, but they did, so the only tickets available are on the secondary market. https://t.co/ICXWqI7FvK
— Rich Hammond (@Rich_Hammond) January 24, 2022
With the Rams offense unable to hear signals at the line of scrimmage, Niners fans made their presence known in that Week 18 matchup. Because of the opposing fan noise, quarterback Matthew Stafford had to employ a silent count, his wife, Kelly, claimed on her podcast after the game.
“I’m not going to lie, I’ve never seen so many fans of the opposing team in one game. And we were from Detroit and there were a lot of teams that traveled well there, but it was crazy,” Kelly Stafford said.
“It was crazy. I mean, again, I’ve never seen anything like it, but it made it really difficult for us because I guess we weren’t expecting to be quiet.”
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) January 25, 2022
“My plea,” she wrote in an Instagram post along with the video. “Please don’t sell tickets to Arizona fans,” referring to the Rams’ playoff game versus the Cardinals the next Monday.
Deebo Samuel, a 49ers wide receiver, also chimed in to prevent away team fans from obtaining seats.
I get that we turned sofi stadium to Levi’s but restricting fan from buying tickets is kraxy to me….. IJS
— Deebo (@19problemz) January 24, 2022
San Francisco club icons Joe Staley and Frank Gore, on the other hand, were not having it and offering to buy tickets so that 49ers fans can once again pack the house at SoFi Stadium.
If Los Angeles wins the NFC Championship and advances to the Super Bowl, it will confront a SoFi Stadium that could split its loyalty. The match is set to occur at its home stadium.
To get there, however, LA must defeat San Francisco, which has won the last six games between the two teams.