St. Louis Rams will play 1 game per year in London

Is it just me, or does "London Rams" have an odd ring to it?

1/20/12 in NFL   |   Pat   |   5232 respect

The Rams will start playing one "home" game per year in London, starting in 2012, and continuing through at least 2014. This year, it will be against the Patriots.

The move could be a step towards one of Roger Goodell's pet projects: Having an NFL team in London.

The Rams have trouble selling out games in St. Louis, and their owner also owns Arsenal, a soccer team in the English Premier League. Right now, it appears as though they're one of a few teams that could make sense to make the move.

The only problem I see with the potential move is that it would have to take place sometime after the 2014 agreement, and things could change a whole lot for the Rams between now and then.

The Rams have a new coach and coaching staff under Jeff Fisher, and they're planning on improving in a hurry. Whether they keep their 2nd overall draft pick, or trade down to a team desperate for Robert Griffin III, they'll be able to give themselves a huge boost in the draft.

By the time the NFL is ready to move the Rams to London full time, if that's even their master plan in the first place, the team could suddenly be much improved, and it's not conceivable that they could be selling out games at that point.

Personally, I'm not a huge fan of the idea of having a team in London full-time. It's not a lock yet, but it certainly seems like Goodell is trying to make it happen at some point. To me, it would be a huge burden on the players. Also, while one game a year in London is extremely popular, it's possible that 8 games could remove the "novelty" appeal of it, and the London games would no longer be the biggest event of the year.

There ARE fans of American football fans in London. But are there enough fans to pull off 8 (or more) sell-out games, pulling in 75,000+ fans each time?

If the Rams have trouble selling out in the United States, where football is king, will they really be able to sell out in England, where the term "football" means something entirely different?

Right now, it's only a game per year. Hopefully, Goodell realizes that it's best if they keep it that way.
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1/22/12   |   ML31   |   3675 respect

wrote:
The Raiders or Chargers would be the more likely CA candidates. The Niners would be a total shock if they ever left SF!

I wouldn't be surprised if it were the 49'ers.  They want a new stadium.  SF won't pay for one and the owner seems to have no interest whatsoever in remaining in SF.  They are planning on the Santa Clara thing but there is opposition and the city currently doesn't have the money.  If they do it, they would go in dept for decades.  Therefore, I don't believe it will happen until there is a shovel in the ground...

1/21/12   |   ML31   |   3675 respect

wrote:
 I thought they mentioned Sacramento? May have been San Jose. You would know more than I. LOL

A's owner Lew Wolf wants to move the team to SJ.  He has since he bought it.  He tried the next best thing...  Fremont.  Which is still A's territory but right across the Santa Clara County border.  But that plan fell apart when a bunch of NIMBY's showed up who didn't want a free ball park in their city.

Since the Fremont plan fell apart, he has been patiently waiting for this "blue ribbon" task force to do a study of potentially allowing a move to SJ.  Supposedly after three years it's finally done.  No one outside of MLB knows what it says just yet.  All I know is that the Giants have no interest in relinquishing their rights to the South Bay.

1/21/12   |   ML31   |   3675 respect

wrote:
 I feel the same about baseball in the bay. Oakland is looking to high tail it soon I believe.

No, they don't want out of the Bay Area.  They just want out of Oakland.  The way the City of Oakland has treated them compared to the Warriors and Raiders, I don't blame them.

The A's want to move to San Jose.  One small snag...  Santa Clara County is considered Giants territory by MLB.  Territory the Giants claim is not for sale at any price.

1/21/12   |   ML31   |   3675 respect

The perfect team to move to LA (provided the city is stupid enough to finance a new stadium) would be either the Raiders or 49ers.  The Bay Area is just not a 2 team market.  The fans are are way too bandwagony. 

The only exceptions to that rule are Sharks fans (who filled the Cow Palace and then the Tank even when the team was sucking big time) and since the new ball park, the Giants fans.

1/21/12   |   Scott   |   52881 respect

IMO, this is a warning shot fired by owner Stan Kroenke to the city of St. Louis.  He's using the NFL and their annual game in London to tell the area leaders that he is a business man first and foremost and with the Dome lease set to expire in 2014, Kroenke is keeping all his options open when it comes to where the Rams will be in 2015.  Regardless, I think this is the beginning of the end of the Rams in St. Louis

1/20/12   |   ML31   |   3675 respect

wrote:
 Next thing you know they will have a whole league out there and it will be considered the minor leagues of NFL... Oh, wait.

Yes...  It's called NCAA football.

1/20/12   |   ML31   |   3675 respect

w_g_walters wrote:
Actually, the American Division was a monumental failure. The European Divison became the World League and lasted for several years afterward with some success. If the NFL tried it, though, the backlash could be horrendous.

It was my understanding that after the failure of the WFL the league rebranded it self NFL Europe and played exclusivly in Europe.  By the end, it essentailly became NFL Germany as that was the only place where people showed the remotest of interest.  (Again, the teams were playing near American military bases which accounted for the bulk of the attendance)  American football in Europe fails because there just isn't enough interest in the game there.

I don't think it would succeed there even if were treated like MLS is here.

1/20/12   |   w_g_walters   |   223 respect

ML31 wrote:
I have no idea why the powers that be in the NFL are not satisfied with being the king sport in the USA.  For some reason they want to force their game on the rest of the world.  The WFL/NFL Europe was a monumental failure.  The vast majority of the people at those games were Americans living or visiting Europe.   The London game sells out as a novelty.  And again, much of the crowd there is AMERICAN!  Yes, there are NFL fans in London.  But there are also MLB fans there too.  Doesn't mean there should be games there.  Much less a full time team.

It's not exactly clairvoyant to see a full time NFL team in Europe as a colossal failure.

Actually, the American Division was a monumental failure. The European Divison became the World League and lasted for several years afterward with some success. If the NFL tried it, though, the backlash could be horrendous.

1/20/12   |   w_g_walters   |   223 respect

I'm not sure this will work. Football is called "American" football for a reason, and the NFL has survived over the WFL, USFL, XFL, and all the others for that reason. That's because we consider it *ours*. This may well backfire on Goodell if there's an outcry about the Major League of the "American game" going overseas for the regular season.

1/20/12   |   ML31   |   3675 respect

I have no idea why the powers that be in the NFL are not satisfied with being the king sport in the USA.  For some reason they want to force their game on the rest of the world.  The WFL/NFL Europe was a monumental failure.  The vast majority of the people at those games were Americans living or visiting Europe.   The London game sells out as a novelty.  And again, much of the crowd there is AMERICAN!  Yes, there are NFL fans in London.  But there are also MLB fans there too.  Doesn't mean there should be games there.  Much less a full time team.

It's not exactly clairvoyant to see a full time NFL team in Europe as a colossal failure.

1/20/12   |   beerstudk   |   1538 respect

NFL in Europe... Great idea!  Why didn't they try this before??.....

1/20/12   |   derms33   |   17642 respect

 dumbest idea ever.   Why make a team lose preparation to travel overseas?  Sounds unfair

1/20/12   |   WhoDat12   |   2252 respect

London Rams...sounds bloody good