The Rams might have been hosting the NFC championship game at SoFi Stadium on Sunday, but the fans made it feel like Levi’s Stadium South.
49ers fans packed into the stands and parking lots in Inglewood, Calif., ahead of their team’s matchup against the NFC West rival 350 miles to the south.
Vivid Seats projected prior to the game that attendance would be 65 percent San Francisco fans and 35 percent Los Angeles fans.
The takeover started well before the game. ABC News Bay Area’s J.R. Stone reported Saturday that the area around the stadium was already filled with 49ers’ fans.
— J.R. Stone (@jrstonelive) January 29, 2022
The parking lots outside the stadium, which charged a pretty penny for access, were also filled with red-and-gold-clad fans tailgating ahead of the game, as 49ers Rush podcast host John Chapman showed.
49ers fans showing up early to SOFI pic.twitter.com/hLQOdquOmw
— John Chapman (@JL_Chapman) January 30, 2022
And that was all before fans began to enter the stadium. The Athletic’s Matt Barrows posted video over an hour before kickoff of SoFi looking filled with more red than blue. That didn’t change much as it got closer to kickoff, per The Athletic’s David Lombardi.
It’s 1:20 before kickoff. Right now it’s 91.36331 percent 49ers fans …. pic.twitter.com/CXxnJCmGoi
— Matt Barrows (@mattbarrows) January 30, 2022
More red in the lower level this time. My estimate is 65-70% 49ers fans here pic.twitter.com/BPFrNBe3ZF
— David Lombardi (@LombardiHimself) January 30, 2022
There were also chants from the stands to “beat LA,” not exactly what Rams players hope to hear in their home stadium.
— Ernesto (@Neto_LA) January 30, 2022
And just listen to the crowd noise when Jimmy Garoppolo hit George Kittle with a touchdown pass to put San Francisco up 17-7..
— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) January 31, 2022
The Rams took plenty of measures to try to prevent the game from being like the regular-season finale, which was a packed house at SoFi — for San Francisco fans. The team changed its ticket policy to prevent anyone outside the greater Los Angeles region from being able to purchase tickets, with location based on credit card billing address.
But San Francisco fans clearly took advantage of the resale market to pack in the stands and make their team feel at home once again.
In the end, however, all those members of the Niner Faithful left the stadium disappointed, as the Rams rallied for a 20-17 victory and a home game in Super Bowl 56, which will be played at SoFi. Garoppolo threw an interception with under two minutes remaining to seal the loss.