Los Angeles does things like no other city — entertainment, eating out, people, and of course, sports.
The City of Angels is home to, get this, two NFL teams, two NBA teams, two MLB teams, two MLS teams, two major college programs, and an NHL team. That’s 11 total sports betting California entities in LA alone! Even for a city as large and diverse as LA, there’s not enough room for everyone.
Not surprisingly, allegiances to teams are split among Angelinos, but that won’t stop us from counting down the five teams that define the city most. Drumroll please and let’s get started:
Alright, this might be a controversial choice given LAFC has been a part of the city for all of three years, but that speaks to the dent it’s already made and what lay ahead for the newly-established soccer franchise.
Soccer has always been big in LA, just not the domestic MLS league. But LAFC has started to shift that, evidence by its attendance figures. Since entering the MLS in 2019, the team has sold out every single home game (sans 2020 due to COVID, of course).
The team is led by Mexican superstar Carlos Vela. In a city as rich with Mexicans as LA, it’s no surprise why a survey found Vela to be the third most popular active athlete in the city.
The City of Angels and the Rams have a complicated history. It was the team’s home from 1946 to 1994, before up and moving to St. Louis. Some fans remained faithful even with the Rams thousands of miles away, while others understandably switched fan bases.
The Rams finally came home in 2016. Its return was met with mixed reaction among Angelinos, but like any other city, winning cures all. It took the team two years before ending up in the Super Bowl and reigniting a city that had been without an NFL team for decades.
Continued success and good ‘ol fashioned time will help the Rams move up these rankings in the years to come. That’s the only way to make up for those forgotten years in St. Louis.
Automatically, this selection is going to alienate half the city, while bringing bliss to the other half. That’s a natural byproduct from the heated intercity feud between USC and UCLA.
But if we’re being honest, we think the Trojans have just a tiny bit more support within the city than the Bruins. It goes back to the earlier comment we made about the Rams, LA likes winners plain and simple.
While both these programs have fallen off in recent times, USC’s glory days (mid 2000s) are still fresher than UCLA’s (‘60s and ‘70s). Those Pete Carroll-coached teams of USC filled the city’s football void when the Rams and Raiders left LA.
At last, the Dodgers ended its 30-plus year championship drought in 2020, winning the World Series over the Tampa Rays. It came on the heels of a Lakers title only weeks before and similarly, the baseball team plays second fiddle to basketball within LA popularity-wise.
Though, there’s no shame in that. With a metropolitan population of over 13 million, even being the second favorite comes with perks.
But here’s the thing the Dodgers have over the Lakers: fans can actually attend their games. Unlike the Lake Show, it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to see the “Boys in Blue” in-person. Going to a Dodgers’ game is a shared experience with many Angelinos and there’s power in that.
Welp, you knew this one was coming, but then again, how couldn’t you? The Lakers exemplify everything the city is about — dreams, pizzaz, and a whole lot of starpower.
Let’s hone in on the stars aspect. Of course, every Lakers home game is a who’s-who affair of entertainment celebrities at court side. But most pale in comparison to the stars on the court.
Without question, the city’s two biggest sports stars since 1980 came from wearing purple and gold. Of course, we’re talking about Magic Johnson and Kobe Bryant. Even in a star-light city like LA, Magic and Kobe’s star dimmed just a bit brighter than everyone else.