In J.D. Power and Associates’ 2017 Fan Experience study, the LA Galaxy ranked number one for the Southern California area, leading other Southern Californian sports franchises in six of the eight surveyed categories, with “ticketing” and “souvenirs and merchandise” being their only two lower-scoring categories.
The study tallies the opinions of over 9,000 fans in eleven markets across the United States in eight key topics: ticketing, arriving at the game, security and ushers, seating area and game experience, food and beverage, merchandise, leaving the game, and overall experience. This is the second year that J.D. Power and Associates completed this study.
This year, the study was expanded from just four markets in 2016, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Houston, to eleven markets in 2017, adding Philadelphia, South Florida, Dallas/Fort Worth, Bay Area, Boston, Denver and Washington D.C. to the previous four markets. Additionally, the Los Angeles area was expanded to include all of Southern California. The Galaxy ranked second in the region for overall fan experience last year in their 2016 study.
The surveys for the Galaxy and all the baseball teams were conducted in June of this year. The rest of the sports surveys took place in February.
The teams included in the study were the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the Los Angeles Lakers, the Anaheim Ducks, the San Diego Padres, the Los Angeles Kings, the Los Angeles Clippers, the San Diego Chargers, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Los Angeles Rams.
The Galaxy does regular fan surveys to address team-specific topics, and some fans may choose to shout into the abyss on Twitter with hopes of their concern reaching someone who can fix it, but this Fan Experience study gives teams a chance to see where they stack up to the rest of the teams in the region.
Some of the results align with the general negative commentary seen in some Galaxy fans’ social media. Things like ticket pricing or the lack of variety or quality in merchandising are often common complaints from Galaxy faithful and are reflected in the lower scores for each of these categories.
Parking, another common concern for Galaxy fans, does not reflect in these rankings, as both arriving and leaving the game earned top rankings for the team in the survey.
While the newly enlisted “hand-parking” system may be less than appealing for regulars, perhaps it was the warnings to arrive early when high levels of traffic was expected, recently-upgraded tailgate experience or frequent free 76 gas cards that bumped up fan approval ratings for arriving to games.
Ultimately, it is up to the discretion of the club as to how much of this data to take to heart.
With the LA Chargers moving into StubHub Center this year, certain changes to the stadium are set to make an impact on Galaxy fans, giving the team an opportunity to address fan concerns in the process. Upgraded seating, food and drink options, lighting effects, and scoreboards are just a few improvements that have already come with the addition of the Chargers to the stadium. But these upgrades do little to address concerns over the areas that have been pointed out in the J.D. Power and Associates’ study.