A recent survey of Los Angeles residents shows that the city is now a Dodgers town. For the first time in a long time, the Dodgers are more popular than the Lakers.
A Loyola Marymount survey asked 2,400 adult residents in Los Angeles a single question: “What is your favorite professional sports team with L.A. in its name?”
For the first time in the survey's four years, the results showed the Dodgers on top. The Dodgers received 36% of the vote while the Lakers received 35% of the vote.
After those two, the numbers dropped off dramatically. The Clippers received 7% of the vote, the Angels and Kings each got 6%, the Galaxy and Rams tied with 5%, and the Sparks rounded it out with 0.2%.
The numbers show a dramatic shift from the survey's first results in 2014, when the Lakers received 42% of the vote and the Dodgers received 35%. Although both teams' popularity fell off a bit in 2015, the Dodgers have been able to gain some of their support back, while the Lakers have continued to slide in the public eye.
What has change over the past four years, you ask? Winning. The Dodgers are doing it and the Lakers, most certainly, are not.
The Dodgers have won four straight National League West Division titles and are the only team in Major League Baseball to make it to the playoffs in each of the past four years. The Lakers, on the other hand, have endured the worst four years in the franchise's history.
Interestingly, the Dodgers started to make that turnaround following the purchase of the team by Guggenheim Baseball Management in 2012. Who is the face of the group? Just Lakers legend Magic Johnson.
Magic and Guggenheim Baseball Management made it very clear, from the start, that they were there to make the Dodgers the talk of the city.
Magic said, "The first thing we said we wanted to do was to bring the fans back. The second thing we wanted to do was to put money into the stadium. We put over $250 million into the stadium, to upgrade it for our great fan base. We wanted to make the team better, so we invested in the players. The next thing we wanted to do was to honor Jackie Robinson, and we’ve done that. Check. Check. Check. Check. We’ve got one more box to check, and that is winning the World Series.”
Beyond that, the Dodgers have the stars, both young and veteran, that the Lakers simply do not have. The Dodgers have one of the most promising young players in the league with shortstop Corey Seager, while also being anchored by veteran star pitchers Clayton Kershaw and Kenley Jansen. When it comes to the Lakers, not a single one of their recent draft picks has yet to make a major impact. More than that, fans no longer have Kobe Bryant there as a constant star.
Not so fast, though. This city popularity switch-up may not last too long, since Magic Johnson just got himself a new job. He's now the president of basketball operations for, you guessed it, the Lakers.
Read the full story at Los Angeles Times