LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – The decision by the Los Angeles Rams to temporarily ban Northern California residents from buying tickets to see the San Francisco 49ers play in the NFC title game at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood generated plenty of controversy, and now may have backfired.
On Sunday, immediately after the Rams defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the divisional round, the team announced on its website that tickets would be restricted to residents of the greater Los Angeles area only. Ticketmaster had a similar message on its website as well.
However, the restriction was lifted Monday morning.
While the Rams did not provide an explanation for the initial ban, when the Rams faced the 49ers in the final regular season game of the season on Jan. 9 -- an overtime thriller which the 49ers won 27-24 to punch their ticket to the postseason – Niners fans in SoFi Stadium appeared to outnumber Rams fans.
The situation was so dire for the Rams that Melissa Whitworth, wife of All-Pro Rams offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth, offered Sunday to buy tickets from any Rams fans looking to sell.
Either way, the Rams' decision will not prevent Niners fans living in Northern California from acquiring tickets on third-party sites like SeatGeek and StubHub.
StubHub reported Wednesday that demand for the Rams-49ers game on its website was trending towards being the "third best-selling playoff game in StubHub history."
According to StubHub, the average ticket price was $1,188. Of those sold, 77% were going to people in California. Of that, 44% were in Northern California and 56% in Southern California.
In response to the controversy, the 49ers issued the following statement Monday:
"The 49ers are very appreciative of how much support the Faithful bring when the team is on the road, especially in L.A. NFC Championship tickets are available to 49ers fans, no matter where they live, on a number of ticketing sites and we can't wait to see them in SoFi Stadium on Sunday."
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