When will the LA Rams permit fans into SoFi Stadium?

Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

When will the LA Rams be permitted to allow fans into SoFi Stadium?

The 4-2 LA Rams are putting on a good show so far.  Right now,  the team is undefeated at home, having defeated both the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants at home. And home is the new multi-billion dollar sports complex known as SoFi Stadium.  Thanks to a reenergized offense, a restrategized defense, and a bit of luck in terms of few player injuries, the Rams are once more worth seeing in-person.

The experience of an NFL game is unlike any other. Unfortunately, for Los Angeles Rams fans, they have not yet been able to experience the incredible new So-Fi Stadium in Inglewood, California, due to COVID-19. Through the first three home games, the Rams have played in an empty stadium with added noise to simulate the feeling of fans in the stands.

It’s just not the same without the fans.

Currently, the state of California doesn’t allow anyone to be at the stadium for games because of the restrictions imposed to limit the spread of COVID-19. The novel coronavirus certainly changed our lives this year and has changed the spirit of the game of football.

When can things start to feel normal again?

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There is hope and it’s brewing

New research from Pickswise suggests that it could be sooner rather than later. Pickswise, a sports gambling platform, has put together a risk map for users to assess the available data and get an estimation of how dangerous it would be for people to go to each open NFL stadium. The data also provides a risk level by estimating the expected number of people with COVID that statistically could be in the stadium at the same time.

According to the CDC, as of October 12th, 2020, there are 58 COVID cases per 100,000 people in California. At that rate, if the Rams were to allow 5,000 people back into SoFi Stadium, statistically there would be only three people with the virus in the stadium. With 10,000 people, there would be six positive people. With 15,000 fans, there would be just eight people with the virus (statistically).

The Kansas City Chiefs are considered a higher risk state as Missouri has 193 positive tests per 100,000 residents. Arrowhead Stadium is currently 21 percent full at home games, which means that, statistically, 31 people have COVID in the stadium. This is the highest rate currently in the league. No stadium has been attributed to a COVID outbreak yet. No players or coaches in the league have been hospitalized with the virus.

I have to ask the question – what are the Rams waiting for?

Currently, they aren’t allowed

Right now, the State of California has established criteria that would allow fans to return to stadiums.  Unfortunately, for Southern California, the threshold has not yet been reached. That means even with the new guidelines, regulations prohibit any sports team in that region of the state from gathering fans to watch professional sports. In fact, there are some counties that still have strict mask policies in place, as Sunday Night Football commentators Al Michaels and Chris Collinsworth got to experience when the San Francisco 49ers hosted the Philadelphia Eagles.

Now, California is about to see the opening of the PAC-12 football season on October 31st. USC, UCLA, California, and Stanford all play within the state. According to a story run by The Mercury News, the state of California was staunchly against any collegiate sports being played in the state until USC players took to Twitter and made public their support and desire of playing a season.

The question I have to ask now is why is it that professional teams can play sports in the state? Is it because they are professionals? If amateur college students can play sports too, shouldn’t fans be permitted to some extent, even if it’s a small percentage of fans?

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Fans are good for the game. They are what makes football the most popular sport in America. Fans drive the success of the league. Shouldn’t they be allowed into the new stadium that was built for them?