Since the “Showtime” era, the Los Angeles Lakers have not only been the most popular team in the city of Los Angeles but one of the most popular teams in the entire country and world, as players in Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant captivated the sports world.
But in recent years the Lakers franchise has struggled, as they have failed to reach the playoffs in four straight seasons. They broke the franchise record for losses on multiple occasions, and it was not until this past season that the win total actually increased.
At the same time, the Los Angeles Dodgers have won four consecutive division titles and fell just short of the World Series in 2016 when they were defeated by the Chicago Cubs in six games in the National League Championship Series.
It is no question that the Lakers and Dodgers are the most popular teams in the city, but according to a study conducted by Loyola Marymount University beginning in 2014, the Lakers have edged out the Dodgers as the most popular team in the city each year, until now.
The 2017 survey results were recently released, and for the first time the Dodgers came in as the most popular team in Los Angeles, via Bill Shaikin of the LA Times:
The Dodgers got 36% of the vote and the Lakers 35%, making each team more than four times as popular in Los Angeles as any other local team. The Clippers got 7%, the Angels and Kings 6% each, the Galaxy and Rams 5% each and the Sparks 0.2%.
Despite being near the general geographic region that is Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and Anaheim Ducks were not included as options in the survey. Out of 2,400 Los Angeles County residents that were surveyed last year, the Lakers led the way with 37 percent of the participants, while the Dodgers received 35 percent.
One thing that has been apparent in this city for many years is that L.A. sports fans do not like losing, so if the Lakers want to regain the top spot then getting back to their winning ways is the easiest way to do that.
[H/T to Dodger Blue]