By Josh Katzowitz
When the NFL announced that the Rams would spend at least one game in the next three seasons playing a home game in London, the league might not have realized the headaches that were to follow.
The City of St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission pointed out that the overseas trips violated the terms of the lease with the Edward Jones Dome. Which led the NFL to suspend ticket sales for the 2012 game between the Rams and the Patriots (though they eventually resumed).
Now, it appears the Rams WILL play in Wembley Stadium next year, as the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports. In exchange for allowing the Rams to play one home game away from St. Louis in 2012, the team will allow the Dome to increase the number of weekends during the season that the facility can be used for non-Rams activities*.
The team will also pay the game-day employees the wages they would have earned during the game they will miss.
*In the original lease, the Dome could be used one weekend a month to book conventions or concerts. But now, for the next three years, the Dome can use the facility for those non-Rams activities for two weekends a month.
But this issue between the city and the team probably won’t go away. The lease was amended only for 2012, and as the paper writes, “The future games allow the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission to retain a bargaining chip over a separate, larger issue: negotiations about renovating the Dome.”
"This agreement gives the CVC more powerful tools to help entice major events to St. Louis, which parallels our strategy of elevating St. Louis on a global stage," Kevin Demoff, the Rams executive vice president of football operations, said in a statement.
And for now, gives a temporary agreement that will allow everybody involved (the city, the team and the league) to get what they want.
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