For the NFC champion Los Angeles Rams, the return journey to the Super Bowl begins in the dog days of summer. During tough training camp sessions, head coach Sean McVay and his staff will run the team—stars like quarterback Jared Goff, as well as longshot free agents and rookies—through drills designed to prep the players for the challenging season ahead.
If you’ve ever wanted to get an inside look at an NFL team in action, the Rams will open their training camp at UC Irvine’s Crawford Field to the public from July 27 to Aug. 4. Tickets are free but need to be reserved in advance.
Better than an episode of HBO’s Hard Knocks and about as close as you’ll ever get to going inside a huddle, these practices are a rare opportunity for serious fans to witness the repetitions, drills, and just plain hard work that help make the NFL so popular.
While diehard Melonheads can spend their time analyzing offensive and defensive formations, the training camp also has plenty to keep both kids and more casual fans happy. With team merchandise giveaways, autograph sessions, and musical performances, the camp is a veritable Ramapalooza. And longtime fans definitely won’t want to miss the Legends Reunion on July 29, which will feature more than 50 former Rams players.
Of course, the Rams aren’t the only NFL team in California, or even Los Angeles. From July 25 to Aug. 16, the Los Angeles Chargers will invite fans to their camp at Costa Mesa’s Jack Hammett Sports Complex. Among the highlights are a night practice on Aug. 12 and joint practices Aug. 15–16 with the New Orleans Saints.
Up north in the Bay Area, the San Francisco 49ers will host fans at 11 practices scheduled at the team’s SAP Performance Facility next to Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara. And who can blame the Dallas Cowboys for wanting to beat the Texas summer heat? The ‘Boys have a long history in California, having trained at Cal Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks for 27 years. During recent seasons, the Cowboys have relocated to Oxnard and will kick off camp at the River Ridge Playing Fields on July 27.