The St. Louis Rams were met with local resistance when they announced plans to play “home” games in London for the next three years, and now the Rams are throwing in the towel.
The Rams announced today that they will not play home games in London in 2013 or 2014, saying they want to put all their focus on getting the Edward Jones Dome up to the standards of the NFL’s “first-tier” stadiums.
Plans for the Rams to “host” the Patriots at Wembley Stadium on October 28 will go forward as scheduled, but different teams will be chosen to serve as the home teams in the NFL’s games in London in 2013 and 2014.
In the short term, this is good news for St. Louis fans who want to see their team play eight real home games a year. But in the long term, it could be a step toward the team relocating entirely. If St. Louis isn’t able to make the necessary improvements to the Edward Jones Dome to satisfy Rams owner Stan Kroenke, he could point out that he gave in on the request from the folks in St. Louis to scrap his plan to play an annual game in London, and that St. Louis didn’t reciprocate by giving in on his requests for stadium upgrades.
And his next move after that could be finding another city — maybe London, maybe Los Angeles — that would host the Rams’ home games, eight times a year.