St. Louis Rams decide London is not their cup of tea, back out of 2013 and 2014 games
The Rams will still play the New England Patriots at Wembley Stadium this year on October 28, Week Eight of the regular season. After that, though, the Rams are no longer game for NFL games in London. The Rams will not honor their previous commitment to play London games in 2013 and 2014.
The team announced on their Twitter feed that the Rams were dropping their London games, ditching their international obligations to "to better focus on First Tier Process in St. Louis."
The "First Tier Process" is a business arrangement the Rams have with their stadium, the Edward Jones Dome. The Rams' lease says that the stadium must be a "first tier" NFL stadium by 2015, or else the Rams are allowed to up and leave the Edward Jones Dome, and perhaps the St. Louis area in general.
The Rams, for their part, are making a good faith effort to not appear as if they've got one foot out the door. Playing games in London for three consecutive years does look like having one foot out the door.
You know another good reason for NFL teams to not play these London games? Playing in London usually means your team is awful. Tim Kawakami's analysis in the San Jose Mercury News shows as much. "Since these games started in 2005," Kawakami writes, "NFL teams that give up a home game to play internationally have gone 27-64 in those seasons."
In other words, the team giving up a home game to play in London ends up on average having a 6-10 season. Rams fans have had enough of those.