The L.A. Coliseum, current home of the Los Angeles Rams, has hosted two preseason games and one regular-season NFL game, and it’s already emerging as the most fan-hostile building in the NFL. Impressive!
The most notable part of the team’s preseason was a pair of fan fights, sent to us by a tipster who was worried that conditions at the new stadium would be as chaotic as they apparently were before they moved to St. Louis over 20 years ago. There was another newsworthy fight for the Rams’ home opener, but also a more serious problem: the stadium ran out of water.
Tipster Jessica sent us a report on the conditions at the Coliseum:
I went to the Seahawks Rams game yesterday and it was the worst experience I’ve ever had at a stadium. You couldn’t move around the concession area. It was 90 degrees but they managed to run out of almost everything at most concession stands including beer and WATER. My friend walked by a guy having a heat stroke and they couldn’t get him water.
We paid $250 per ticket.
Concourses packed like the train cars in Snowpiercer are about what the Coliseum’s staff expected. The director of operations even told the Washington Post last week that concourses would be cramped:
“I’ve never seen this place as crowded or chaotic as it was for Dallas,” Grant said. “It taxes the building a bit. We’re really land locked so there’s not a lot of places... for us to hide.”
The L.A. Coliseum’s Facebook reviews are full of people sharing experiences similar to Jessica’s:
According to one reviewer, people had to wait for half an hour to get into the stadium, only to be told that they’d been in the wrong line:
Seattle Seahawks fan Dustin wrote that concessions near him ran out in the second quarter, and also that the postgame fireworks celebration was butt:
Once again, no water by the second quarter:
The Los Angeles Times reported that 160 people were treated for heat-related problems and 14 people were taken to the hospital during Sunday’s game. There are more reviews echoing the same points and complaining about missing entire quarters just to wait in line to not get water.
A silver lining for the fans, however: The game was dogshit and nothing cool happened.
Were you there? Tell us about your experience: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Update, 9/20, 12:55 a.m. EDT: Here are your best stories from the game. From Ian, a success story:
I went to the game with a couple buddies yesterday and the concession stand debacle was as big of an abortion as advertised. Left with 4:20 left in the 2nd quarter to grab waters for our group and ended up having to wait in 3 different lines since the first two I was in ran out. Continued to wait through the entirety of halftime and returned to my seat with about 7 minutes left in the 3rd... BUT I GOT THAT DAMN WATER!
Matt tells us that concessions were woefully understocked in St. Louis too:
My wife volunteered regularly for charity concession booths at all of the pro sporting events in St. Louis, including the Rams games. She always said that the Rams ran out of everything before half time. The Cardinals and Blues never had all of the problems she saw at the Rams games.
The whole organization is obviously run by amateurs. The product on the field, marketing blunders, concessions, drafting players. They fail in literally every way they can. Not any different than the other teams that asshole owns.
Another tipster describes the traffic, both human and motor:
Traffic, gridlock. Entry, chaotic and overcrowded. Concessions, sorry we’re out by halftime!? Protection from elements, nada! Rams fans, smack talking and booing their own team with chants to kill the Seahawks kicker! People smoking. Security, what security? Leaving the stadium, dangerously crowded in all walkways. Gridlock at the trains/busses. Complete hell! The NFL should not allow that stadium to host ANY games until they can provide safety and security for the fans!
And finally, we leave you with this opus from Lindsay, whose harrowing, tome-length account is the most entertaining summation of the problems I’ve read:
Yeah, surprisingly, I think the best thing about the game was the fans (from both teams) that made it fun. I must have been in a decent section because nobody got sucker punched - it was legit friendly bickering. I’m a born-and-raised Seattle-ite who relocated in February to - hilariously - an office right near the Rams’ temporary setup. I was pretty excited to take advantage of this move, but something told me not to pay over face value for a resale ticket. Thank god I waited, because that was like a dumpster fire full of 30,000 sad Seattle fans. Can the Seahawks just trade Christine Michael back to Dallas so they can cut him again? I’m sure Jerry didn’t even know he was on the team. He’s too busy reading Tony bedtime stories. In his office. Sexy bedtime office. I digress. My friend and I both had to drive, so we just had a beer during the first half. But when we tried to get a water at halftime, literally everywhere was sold out. You either had the option of diabetic-inducing strawberry lemonade, or beer. So, I went to the shortest beer line I could find and asked the woman if I could fill a cup up with the dirty icewater (sort-of half-joking). Finally there was some breathing room on the concourse - and a tree to provide some shade, but as soon as i sat down a guy puked on the ground next to me and a pregnant lady was being carried through the crowd thanks to heat exhaustion. So, back to the seats we went, noting how if there was an emergency, hug a fucking wall because your ass is getting trampled otherwise. Between this and the half-demolished sports arena next door, I thought it was the fucking apocalypse. Oh, and the time to get one beer and the saddest drink of water from a led-flavored drinking fountain? Well, we left at the beginning of halftime and didn’t get back to our seats until the beginning of the 4th quarter.
Now, I know they’re dying to get the Olympics back here, and this was supposed to be a display of how great they’re return would be. For the city’s sake, I really hope the selection committee doesn’t follow the NFL.
Oh, I forgot to mention, at the end of the game the field announcer said “Seattle Seahawks - 3; your St. Louis Rams 9" and nobody even blinked. Because, L.A.
Update, 9/20, 1:40 a.m. EDT: The hits keep on coming.
Paul wants to talk about lids, both kinds:
Besides what the rest of your readers have said, the kicker for me was that they didn’t have lids for most of their drinks. You wanted a soda? You either get a kids cup or 2 liters, neither one had a lid so you were guaranteed to spill it walking up the handrail-less stairs up to your seats. Or, that’s just what you think because the “seats” (aka a spot on a hot, splintered bench) had barely visible markers on them and the attendant in the tunnel doesn’t know where your seats are.
Security was non existent, except for the Fort Knox level of security at the gift shops (WHICH ALL RAN OUT OF HATS BEFORE THE GAME STARTED!!).
I had to leave at halftime, I couldn’t do it any more. they were out of water, out of food, and I was out of money and baking. Also, I guess you’re totally allowed to smoke in the stadium? I was choking because of the overwhelming smoke around the concourse. Security didn’t seem to care at all.
I’ve lived through bad stadiums; I grew up in NY and went to Shea stadium a lot (still loved it though), I spent a few years in DC and went to the concrete death arena called FedEx Field. I have never had a worse experience than the one I had on Sunday.
I got home to catch the end of the game then had to sit through the montages of the Vikings’ beautiful new stadium....
No more Coliseum.
Alex shares a horror story about endless lines:
During halftime, probably a third of the fans myself included, went to the concessions area for some shade and relief from the blazing sun. If that wasn’t the biggest fire escape hazard I have ever seen, I don’t know what is. I took video it, but unfortunately my Snapchat deleted it and I didn’t save it.
I waited for halftime to end before getting in the line for drinks, so they could subside, but they didn’t. I was in line at the concession stand in front of tunnel 26 for beer and water. The line was so slow and long, I missed the entire 3rd quarter and at the start of 4Q the workers announced no more beer sales after end of 3rd quarter. Ok, so I looks like I’m just getting water. After another 15 minutes, workers announced WATER SOLD OUT! So then after another 10-15 minutes, I ended up with a Diet Coke and French fries.
I wanted to leave the game.
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