Fans waiting for a chance to become NFL season-ticket holders in Los Angeles got their first opportunity in more than two decades Monday.
The Rams began taking $100 deposits for a spot on the waiting list to purchase season tickets for the 2016 season. The process continues indefinitely at the website WelcomeHomeRams.com.
The Rams are expected to play three seasons at the Coliseum before moving into a new stadium in Inglewood for the 2019 season.
Jake Bye, the team’s vice president for ticketing and premium seating, declined to say how many applications had been received as of late Monday afternoon, but described the response as “unbelievable.”
“We’re thrilled with where we are,” he said.
Magic Johnson, the former Lakers star and co-owner of the Dodgers, was the first person to make a deposit, Bye said.
“I got my @RamsNFL season tickets! I’m so excited and can’t wait to see OUR team next season! #Rams,” Johnson wrote on his Twitter feed.
A place on the waiting list will allow fans to purchase tickets before the general public based on when the deposit was received, according to a team news release. Each “account holder” will be able to purchase as many as eight season tickets.
But being on the waiting list does not guarantee an opportunity to purchase tickets. “Inventory is limited,” the website said.
Bye did not specify what the cap might be for the Coliseum, which can hold more than 90,000 for football.
“There is not a benchmark or number we want to hit,” Bye said. “We want to make the Coliseum and NFL football available to as many fans as possible.”
Kevin Demoff, the Rams’ chief operating officer, said last week that the prices would be “comparable” to what they were last season in St. Louis. Season tickets ranged from $300 to $1,750 last season, according to the team’s website.
“We plan to be in that ballpark across the board,” Bye said.
The 2016 schedule includes regular-season home games against the Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins, plus a “home” game in London versus the New York Giants.
Season-ticket holders in the Coliseum will be “guaranteed” the first opportunity to purchase seats at the Inglewood stadium.
The Rams averaged a league-low 52,402 this season at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis. Seating capacity at the stadium is 66,000.
The Dallas Cowboys led the league, averaging 91,459. The New York Giants were second at 79,001.
Under a list of 17 frequently asked questions on the team website, the last addressed whether the new stadium would have a personal-seat-license program.
“While all details surrounding the new Inglewood Stadium PSL program are not determined at this time, we do anticipate the majority of the seats if not all will require some type of a personal seat license with differing price categories based upon seating locations and amenities,” the answer reads.
The San Diego Chargers have the option to join the Rams in Los Angeles and officials from the teams met Monday. A joint statement from the teams read: “We have concluded our first meeting. We mutually have agreed not to publicly discuss details of this or any future meeting.”