|The NFL is not likely cheering the Rams' decision to bail on London. (US Presswire)|
The Rams appeared set up as the de facto British farm team for the NFL, with games scheduled in 2012, 2013 and 2014. But that took a sudden and surprising change on Monday, with the team announcing it had bailed on the London commitment for 2013 and 2014.
St. Louis will still take its talents across the pond to face Tom Brady and the Patriots in the upcoming season, but want to "focus" on getting its stadium situation at home settled in the two years after that rathen than travel halfway across the world for a game.
"In an effort to focus on the Edward Jones Dome First Tier Process with the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission, the St. Louis Rams are withdrawing their commitment to play a home game in London in each of the 2013 and 2014 seasons," the Rams announced in a statement released by the team.
The Rams involvement with London has already been fairly rocky: in the week leading up to last year's Super Bowl, ticket sales were suspended for the 2012 game because it was believed the Rams might be violating their lease by playing in London.
"We are looking forward to playing in London this season as the NFL's international series offers a unique opportunity to grow the American football audience, expand the Rams' brand to international fans and enhance St. Louis on the global stage," said Kevin Demoff, Rams Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. "However, moving forward, we believe our attention needs to be on the ongoing First Tier process. We have worked closely with the NFL in coming to this decision and remain key supporters of the international series and its' objectives."
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