When the Green Bay Packers lost on Saturday, the Los Angeles Rams' sales department was ready.
Saturday's result ensured that the winner of Sunday's NFC divisional round playoff game between the Rams and Tampa Bay Buccaneers would host the NFC championship game. In a show of optimism, the Rams were promoting ticket sales on Sunday morning before their 30-27 victory. With one caveat.
No 49ers fans allowed. At least the ones who live in San Francisco — or anywhere else outside of Los Angeles. Facing the prospect of 49ers fans filling up SoFi Stadium, the Rams limited ticket sales strictly to residents of Los Angeles. Anyone attempting to purchase tickets was greeted with a warning stating the ground rules:
"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. Orders by residents outside of the Greater Los Angeles region will be canceled without notice and given refunds."
What defines "Greater Los Angeles region" wasn't made clear. But it surely doesn't include the Bay Area. 49ers fans made a strong showing during a Week 18 win at Los Angeles that clinched San Francisco's playoff berth. The Rams would like to avoid a repeat scenario.
After the Rams won, the wife of left tackle Andrew Whitworth upped the ante. Melissa Whitworth offered to buy tickets on the secondary market to keep them out of the hands of 49ers fans.
If you @RamsNFL fans want to sell your tickets - I’ll buy them. Just DO NOT sell them to the other team PLEASE!
— Melissa Whitworth (@mrs_whit77) January 23, 2022
How other teams handled ticket sales
The Rams weren't the only team jumping the gun on ticket sales Sunday morning. The Bucs also offered tickets to a game they ultimately won't host. But they seemed less concerned about traveling 49ers fans. There was no such restriction noted on their ticket sales.
The AFC saw the same scenario play out when the top-seeded Tennessee Titans lost to the Cincinnati Bengals on Saturday, meaning Sunday's winner between the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs would host next week's conference championship. Unlike the NFC, neither franchise got ahead of itself. There were no championship game tickets to be found on either team's website Sunday morning.