The week leading up to any first regular-season game is nothing short of electrifying, but this year marked the Rams' first regular season game with fans at SoFi Stadium so you can see why the excitement was higher than ever before.
With this year's theme: "Our House. Your House. Rams House." Who better to celebrate with than the Inglewood community?
Royal, sol and white balloons decorated each business as fans arrived to dine and commemorate the upcoming game against the Chicago Bears on Sunday Night Football.
"This is our second run with the Rams and being that the stadium is finally open, and fans are allowed, the turnout was great," said Jasmine Othman, owner of family-owned Orleans & York Deli.
The Rams provided fans, residents, and visitors who spent $20 or more at the respective business with a $5 gift card to that business. The customers also had the opportunity to receive a commemorative Rams t-shirt.
"We get a pretty steady flow of customers, so we were able to hand out hundreds of t-shirts and coupons," explained Terry Dulan, owner of Dulan’s Soul Food Kitchen. "The customers were happy to get the t-shirts. My staff got to wear Rams t-shirts and they were happy to do something different and fun. We played music outside. It was just a great event."
To close out each day during the opening week of events, team mascot Rampage and Rams vice president of community affairs and engagement, Molly Higgins, surprised each business owner with a framed autographed jersey and two tickets to the home opener.
"That was great," said Roderick Phillips, owner of Woody’s Bar-B-Que. "You know, I didn't expect anything because the Rams have done a lot for us since they've been here. In a million years, I would have never thought that I would be at the first official football game in the new stadium, with great seats and accommodations. I was taken back by that."
The Certified #RamsHouse program supports small businesses throughout the Los Angeles region. The program also aims to support Black-owned businesses and businesses located in the City of Inglewood to support social justice and the Inglewood community.
"This means a lot to us because we have gone through so much to even get to where we are at," said Gustavo Chavez, owner of Carnitas El Artista. "To see the support from our customers, family and friends, from what the Rams are doing to support small businesses in Inglewood has motivated us even more to continue and not give up."
The Rams are committed to serving as a valuable community partner, dedicating resources and efforts to engage the Inglewood community. Since the inception of the Certified #RamsHouse program in September 2020, the team has provided promotional support for 34 small businesses in Inglewood. Additionally, the team has provided more than 1,820 hours of community service in the Inglewood area.
"SoFi Stadium and the Rams provide a different type of vitality to the City of Inglewood," said Dulan. "There are jobs to be had, there are businesses that can grow as we have more people come to the area. It provides opportunity if those opportunities are taken. I think it's a good thing. Hopefully, the people that have been in Inglewood will benefit."
For business owners that would like to apply to become a Certified #RamsHouse, or if you would like more information, please visit therams.com/community/certified-rams-house.
For more information about the Rams' community outreach initiatives, please visit www.therams.com/community.