When it comes to the sports market in Los Angeles, two teams have historically reigned supreme over all others. No matter the success of other collegiate or professional sports teams, the Lakers and Dodgers have seemingly always captivated southern California.
Even with the Lakers’ recent stretch of down seasons, they’ve largely remained the preferred NBA team of the Los Angeles sports fan more times than not. Meanwhile, the Dodgers have won three consecutive National League West division titles for the first time in franchise history.
They boast arguably baseball’s best pitcher in Clayton Kershaw, a tantalizing young star in Yasiel Puig, and plenty of other recognizable names. With that, they’ve continued to overshadow the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, who between the two franchises own the most recent World Series title (2002).
While basketball is the more popular sport when compared to baseball, a recent survey conducted by Loyola Marymount University revealed the Dodgers have closed the gap as the favorite local sports team, via Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times:
Of the 2,400 Los Angeles County residents who were surveyed over the phone, 37% identified the Lakers as their favorite local team, compared to 35% for the Dodgers. In a similar survey two years ago, the Lakers were at 43% and the Dodgers 34%. The Angels received only 5% of votes, finishing behind the Clippers (9%), the Kings (8%) and the Galaxy (6%).
The Dodgers’ rise in popularity is in spite of several pay-TV providers refusing to enter into negotiations with Time Warner Cable to carry SportsNet LA. As the impasse has lingered, the Dodgers have faced more criticism from the fan base.
Aside from that, it’s difficult to argue against the overall improvement in the quality of the franchise since the Guggenheim group took control. The Dodgers were recently ranked by Forbes as the second-most valuable team in Major League Baseball.
Comparatively, the Lakers were ranked the second-most valuable NBA team. Both Los Angeles franchises fell behind their New York counterparts — Knicks and Yankees.