Last Sunday, the L.A. Rams gave fans something to really shout about, defeating the Seattle Sea Hawks 9-3 in the first home game of the season. Over 91,000 were in attendance.
While the hoopla of their Southern California return has been the subject of numerous news interviews, residents near the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum have been focused on dollar signs.
An article in the L.A. Times revealed how some enterprising locals are charging big bucks for parking. Some charge $200 or more for a single space and online sites like Stub Hub are charging up to $1,000 for a parking pass!
“Parking price inflation is nothing new in car-dominated L.A., but the Rams have brought the sticker shock to new heights,” the Times said. It’s the sign of the times. After a 20-plus year absence from L.A. the love that Rams fans have for their home team is no joke—so much that they’re willing to pay exorbitant prices to come watch them play.
Ah, what you won’t do for love…
Clearly the love goes both ways. The Rams are bringing much needed revenue into South L.A., with parking lot operators and ordinary folks lucky enough to live close to the coliseum making handsome profits for allowing cars on their property. Folks are profiting anyway they can, from selling food to souvenirs on the street.
Wherever people gather in L.A., you can bet there will be plenty of traffic and plenty of cars to park. So, many are choosing to arrive via trains, busses, Lyft or Uber.
But regardless of how you get there, the high rate parking speaks to the demand for professional football in the area. The new stadium in Inglewood holds the promise of an even greater sports experience—one that future generations of football lovers will be able to enjoy with their families for years to come.
The Rams mean money, tax revenue, and opportunities for small businesses, even solopreneurs. Those with deep pockets will continue to drive and pay for high parking. Others will do what city planners support—ditch the high rates, and use public transportation. It’s a challenge because L.A. still has a way to go before it can truly be considered a mass transit-friendly city. But we’re getting there.
By the time the new Inglewood stadium opens, the Crenshaw to LAX Metro line will be operating with two stations in the city. It’s a dream plan with perfect timing.
All I can say to those small business entrepreneurs around the coliseum is enjoy it while you can. Prosperity will be moving to Inglewood when the Rams leave the coliseum for their new billion-dollar digs in 2019.
Photo credit: Ray Berry