Blog Entry

Rams to face Patriots in London in '12

Posted on: January 20, 2012 8:40 am
Edited on: January 20, 2012 1:23 pm
Wembley StadiumBy Josh Katzowitz

With Rams owner Stan Kroenke also owning the English Premier Leagues’ Arsenal soccer team, a date in London to play the NFL’s annual international game certainly makes sense. And St. Louis players had better get used to it, because not only will they face the Patriots in 2012, but the Rams also have signed up to play in London in 2013 and 2014.

That’s the word from the team, which also reports that next year’s game will occur Oct. 28 at 1 p.m. ET (6 p.m. local time).

The Rams will be the home team in 2012, meaning they’ll lose a game at the Edward Jones Dome.

“This is a tremendous honor for our franchise, the city of St. Louis and our fans throughout the world,” Kroenke said in a statement. “We are excited about the opportunity to reach new audiences globally. This is a great platform to showcase the city of St. Louis to London and the UK.
“We’ve seen first-hand the increased popularity of the NFL not only in London but throughout Europe. To play a role in that growth over the next three years will be incredible and is a testament to the many good things happening not only in the NFL but also in the St. Louis Rams organization.”

[RELATED: Is playing in London a good idea for a team intent on winning the second half of the season?]

As the St. Louis Post Dispatch points out, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in October that he wanted to see a few teams becoming regulars in London (the Buccaneers, for example, have been twice already, and next year will mark New England's second trip across the Atlantic) so they could begin to build a following in Europe.

That would be “very powerful and lead us to what we ultimately would like to do -- have a franchise here in London,” Goodell said.

The NFL is contracted to play at least one regular-season contest in London through 2016.

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Since: Nov 9, 2008
Posted on: January 20, 2012 7:22 pm

Rams to face Patriots in London in '12

I'm not a fan of having a team in London or of expansion, but if they do put a team there permanently it would probably be through expansion (or the relocation of a team to London and an expansion team in another city). Consider a set-up like this:

33-teams. Each conference has 4 divisions of 4 teams. London alternates as an "at-large" team, switching conferences each year. London's schedule consists of one game against each of the other 16 teams in their conference (with each of those teams dropping one of the two extra conference games they play to make room on their schedule). Split London's schedule into four 4 game stretches: two home stretches and two away stretches. So, their schedule might look something like this: H-H-H-H-A-A-A-A-H-H-H-H-A-A-A-A, with a bye week somewhere in between. When London is on one of their away stretches, they set-up camp and hold practices in a U.S. city (or even Canadian, I suppose) that doesn't currently have an NFL team. In exchange for providing facilities for the London franchise during the season, this city would get to host London's training camp and the team's two preseason games (in addition to getting a large sum of money, and the chance to prove they are a viable NFL city). Then, the London team would only have to make a few trans-Atlantic trips a year. And the other NFL teams would only have to travel to London once every 4 years.

Again, I'd rather not see a team overseas, and I like the NFL's 32 team set-up. Also, a 33 team league would mean at least one team on a bye week each week (something a 34 team structure similar to the one above would fix). But this might be what the NFL looks like if they decide to put a team in London.

Since: Jan 3, 2007
Posted on: January 20, 2012 7:06 pm

Rams to face Patriots in London in '12

First...playing NFL games in London is an asinine idea from the get go. That being said, sounds like to me that the ownership of the Rams would rather the team play games in another city instead of St. Louis.  Ram fans get ready.....your team will be moved soon!

Since: Jan 16, 2010
Posted on: January 20, 2012 5:47 pm

Rams to face Patriots in London in '12

Kind of ironic, the Patriots going to London?

Since: Jan 6, 2012
Posted on: January 20, 2012 5:35 pm

Rams to face Patriots in London in '12

If I was a Rams fan I'd be insulted by this move. The Rams prefer to play before the fans of a foreign country over the fans of their home town??? I'd be ticked and be looking for a new team to support. Big deal if the Rams become London's team. Who cares about a bunch to limey Ram fans? Bad move Lambs.

Since: Jan 15, 2010
Posted on: January 20, 2012 5:18 pm

Rams to face Patriots in London in '12

Chargers_LT#1, I feel the love.

Oakland and Dallas have been pitiful for the last few years but they still put bums on seats despite their ineptitude. Why have the Raiders got a far stonger fanbase than the Chargers given there recent history? Fans want to see the Raiders win or get crushed.

Since: Feb 2, 2007
Posted on: January 20, 2012 4:40 pm

Rams to face Patriots in London in '12

But, but, but the Raiders have that superstar QB Jermarcus (2 ton of fun) Russell 

Since: Feb 2, 2007
Posted on: January 20, 2012 4:38 pm

Rams to face Patriots in London in '12

How bout we do this right and have them play all their home games in Los Angelas!

Since: May 31, 2007
Posted on: January 20, 2012 4:29 pm

Rams to face Patriots in London in '12

1) Does London even want a team?
2) If they get one, will the league have to change it's name to the International Football League?
3) How in the heck are they going to convince other teams to be in the same division?  Is the league going to pick up that horrendous travel tab every year?  What about the 8+ times that the London team will have to make road trips over to the U.S.?  Won't that put them at a severe disadvantage in terms of scheduling and prep time?

Speaking of which, the NFL is so uptight about making sure nothing puts another team at a 'competetive disadvantage'... why is this (taking away a home game) such a big exception?

Unless you're going to put a whole division in Europe, London expansion would probably end up costing more than it'd be worth. 

Since: Jan 9, 2007
Posted on: January 20, 2012 3:54 pm

Rams to face Patriots in London in '12

Lets send the cowboys and raiders... lol 
The REASON the rams are a good choice, is bc the owner also owns a soccer club.. which means a bombardment of promotions from arsenal his team, and prob cross-promotion from the league aresenal is in.  
Im sure if derek jeter owned a pro volleyball team, some people would go to watch and pay fro a ticket, just bc its jeter.
Im not sure u get this point,.... im a prbably speaking in terms of most of you people comprehension.. based on prior convos.

Since: Sep 8, 2006
Posted on: January 20, 2012 3:53 pm

Rams to face Patriots in London in '12

 Dont blame us for getting a game over here, blame Goodell and the greedy money grabbing owners like Glazer & Kroenke.
You're right about that.  I think it's great for the true NFL fans in the UK to get a game there.  Good for you.  But bad for everyone else.  It sucks to lose a home game if you're a team (or a season ticket holder) but my biggest fear is expansion.  No league should have teams on separate continents.  I think Goodell's plan is to have the next expansion take place in Europe (possibly 2 teams that would be in the same division) and I think that's a truly terrible idea.  Especially for the teams based in Europe.  Having to play at least 7 games on the road in the US would be absolutely brutal.  And what if they made the playoffs?  They could be away from home for 2-4 weeks if they kept winning. 

American Football in Europe is kind of like have the MLS in America.  Yeah, there are enough fans to support it to some degree, but it's no Premier League by any stretch.  If you had a 32 team league in Europe, it wouldn't be as good of a product and wouldn't have the support the NFL has by any stretch.  Of course you can get 100k fans to one game a year.  Doesn't anyone remember the WFL?  It was a decent way to have a developmental league and fill the football void in the Summer, but it just wasn't sustainable.

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