When they play next Sunday for a spot in the Super Bowl, the Los Angeles Rams would like to avoid a repeat of their game against the San Francisco 49ers a couple weeks ago.
In more ways than one.
SoFi Stadium was the site for that Week 18 clash, which San Francisco won 27-24 in overtime. In addition, a sizable number of Niners fans made the trip south to support their team, leading to — at least according to one estimate — anywhere from one-third to one-half of the stadium supporting the visitors.
Even before they upset the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday to set up a rematch with their NFC West rivals, the Rams changed their ticketing policy if they were to host the conference title game in an effort to keep Niners fans out.
DIVISIONAL ROUND WINNERS, LOSERS: Chiefs’ coaches were brilliant; overtime rules stink
4th & MONDAY: Our NFL newsletter always brings the blitz
A note on Ticketmaster’s website informed potential buyers: “Public sales to the game at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, CA will be restricted to residents of the Greater Los Angeles region. Residency will be based on credit card billing address at checkout.”
This isn’t a novel approach, especially for a playoff game, as teams look to maximize the home-field advantage. The Tennessee Titans, for example, changed their policy on ticket sales in an effort to keep Cincinnati Bengals fans from attending Saturday’s AFC playoff game.
However, plenty of Bengals fans still made their way to Nashville to celebrate the team’s 19-16 upset.
Perhaps the best idea to make sure Niners fans don’t get their hands on tickets, might have come from Melissa Whitworth — wife of Rams offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth — who tweeted on Sunday: “If you @RamsNFL fans want to sell your tickets – I’ll buy them. Just DO NOT sell them to the other team PLEASE!”
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Los Angeles Rams alter ticket policy to block San Francisco 49ers fans