The Los Angeles Dodgers boast one of the biggest and most loyal fanbases in all of baseball. That was evident last year when the club broke a franchise record for attendance at Dodger Stadium, drawing 3,974,309 (49,066 average) fans and selling out 28 games.
However, the club finished second to the L.A. Lakers for the city’s most popular sports team in a poll conducted by Loyola Marymount University.
The seventh annual survey, held in January and February, asked 1,000 L.A. county residents to pick their favorite team from the 10 professional organizations with “Los Angeles” in their name.
The Lakers earned 35.1% of the vote, followed by the Dodgers, who finished a close second with 31.4%. The L.A. Rams (7.5%), L.A. Clippers (6.4%), L.A. Galaxy (6.2%) and L.A. Angels (5.3%) fell way short of those marks, while the L.A. Kings (3.4%), LAFC (2.1%), L.A. Chargers (1.6%) and L.A. Sparks (1.1%) failed to reach the 5% threshold.
For the Lakers, it marks the first time since 2016 they have claimed the top spot in LMU’s survey. The Dodgers were ranked L.A.’s most popular teams during the 2017 and 2018 seasons, garnering 35.7% and 38% of the vote, respectively.
Prior to this year’s results being made final, the Dodgers narrowly edged the Lakers, 33.7% to 33.5%, on Jan. 26, which marked the day Lakers legend Kobe Bryant and eight others tragically passed away in a helicopter crash.
While some believe Bryant’s death had an effect on the vote, others pointed to the Lakers being in the midst of their best season in nearly a decade.
The Lakers, with a 49-14 record, sat at the the top of the Western Conference and had already earned a playoff berth before the NBA announced it was indefinitely suspending operations due to concerns over the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The Dodgers, meanwhile, set a franchise record in wins last season (106), but fell short of returning to the World Series for a third consecutive year after suffering an early postseason exit to the Washington Nationals in the National League Division Series.
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