Manufacture This

The blog of the Alliance for American Manufacturing

Los Angeles is already a manufacturing champion. Can its football team win as well?

Can you remember the last time the Los Angles Rams and the Super Bowl were mentioned in the same sentence?

The National Football League (NFL) Rams departed Los Angles in 1995 for a new home in St. Louis where they appeared in two Super Bowls, winning one and losing another to today’s NFL dynasty team the New England Patriots.

After a 20-year stint in St. Louis, the Rams returned to their original home in Los Angeles for the 2016 season. Three years later, the once-woeful Rams are going back to the Super Bowl to face those pesky Patriots at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

The Los Angeles Rams have never won a Super Bowl in the modern era, having last won the NFL Championship over the Cleveland Browns in 1951. It wasn’t until the team moved to St. Louis before it captured its first and only Super Bowl win.

Los Angeles is the number one manufacturing city in America and since returning the Rams have quickly manufactured a spot in the NFL’s premier event.

But the Rams, playing in the second-largest city in the United States, returned to play in the Los Angeles Coliseum, which was built in 1923 to host the Olympic Games.

This overachieving team from Los Angeles will take on the Patriots on Sunday at the newest, and arguably most modern, stadium in the NFL at 6:30 p.m. EST in Super Bowl 53. Ironically, Atlanta’s stadium looks like a behemoth version of Frank Gehry’s Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angles with similar curved steel panels that make the buildings look like a piece of art.

These are not square buildings serving many functions. They are art. One for football and one for music.

 

 

The sun sets on another eventful day in Atlanta. Three more nights until #SBLIII.

A post shared by Atlanta Super Bowl LIII (@atlsuperbowl53) on

 

And while Atlanta has continued to grow as the beacon of the Southeast United States, Los Angeles has maintained its standing as the number one manufacturing city in the United States. We often think of the industrial Midwest as the heartland of manufacturing, but Los Angeles is the hotbed of manufacturing. 

We think of Los Angeles in terms of celebrities, movie stars, musicians and the rich and powerful among us. But Los Angeles leads the nation in manufacturing jobs. The Los Angeles metropolitan area employees nearly 520,00 manufacturing workers according to the Bureaus of Labor Statistics. The Chicago metropolitan area is a distant second with approximately 407,000 manufacturing workers. 

| Photo courtesy of David Nitzsche

Industries like aerospace products and cut-and-sew apparel make up a bulk of top manufacturing industries in Los Angeles. The size of California and the number of skilled workers also create large industries in electronic instruments, medical equipment and supplies and machine shop threaded products.

You see, it’s not all about Hollywood glamour.

This Sunday it’s about football but the heart of Los Angeles is about manufacturing.

Meanwhile, Atlanta seems to be struggling to find an identity.

The Los Angeles Rams left the Coliseum to play their games at Anaheim Stadium in Orange County in 1979 and the Oakland Raiders moved south to occupy the Coliseum in hopes of getting a new stadium built and relocating to Los Angeles permanently. That 12-year experiment didn’t pan out and the Raiders returned to Oakland while the Coliseum was left to host University of Southern California football games.

The Rams, who had previously played at the Coliseum from 1946 until 1979, returned in 2016 and made an immediate impression. They are getting what they had wanted for years, a new stadium being built at the site of the old Hollywood Park Race Track and Casino, known as the Los Angeles Stadium at Hollywood Park where they will share the stadium with the Los Angeles Chargers.

Interest in horse racing has continually dwindled over the years and gone are the days when Hollywood film and TV stars would spend their days betting on the horses. Hollywood Park is in Inglewood, a once bedroom community of Los Angeles that has seen better days. The site was also the home to The Forum, the home of so many Los Angeles Lakers championship teams.

This property is of such high value in was inevitable either a subdivision of homes or a stadium would be built on this land. As for horse racing aficionados, Santa Anita Park in Arcadia is a beautiful structure at the foot of the San Gabriel Mountains that features some of the top-quality horse racing in the world.

Atlanta Falcons’ owner Arthur Blank had a vision to build a world-class stadium that would continue to attract major events for years to come. While the Los Angeles Rams played most of their games at the L.A. Coliseum, Atlanta seemed to be building new football stadiums as if it were the answer to winning a championship.

The Falcons first played at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, built as the home for the local Major League Baseball team (the Braves who had moved from Milwaukee) in 1965. They then moved to the Georgia Dome for a period of only 12 years before moving into Mercedes Benz Stadium for the 2017 season.

The Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta can be considered the crown jewel of sports manufacturing at this time. But let’s wait and see what is constructed in Los Angeles for the Rams and Chargers at the old Hollywood Park location.

When it comes to sports construction, American manufacturing is at its best.

And even though it would be a relief to see the Los Angeles Rams hoist the Super Bowl trophy in such a modern stadium after all those years playing in the historic Coliseum, let’s not forget that Tom Brady and the New England Patriots are the modern-day masters of Super Bowl victories regardless of the location.

MORE SUPER BOWL COVERAGE: The Super Bowl is Truly an American-made Affair, In More Ways Than One