Rams will regularly play “home” games in London


The Rams will soon have a second home field, thousands of miles away from the Edward Jones Dome: Wembley Stadium.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the Rams will play a 2012 “home” game in London, likely against the Patriots, and that the Rams hosting a game in London may be a multi-year deal. That would make the Rams the second team in the NFL to play an annual home game in a foreign country, although the Buffalo Bills take a significantly shorter trip when they host games in Toronto.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has said he likes the idea of one team that becomes the regular “home” team in London, and the Rams would make a lot of sense. Owner Stan Kroenke owns the Arsenal soccer team of the English Premier League, and the Rams have struggled to sell out all their games in St. Louis.

The big question for Rams fans is whether this could be a small step toward the Rams eventually playing eight home games a year in London.

UPDATE: Just as we were posting this, the Rams were announcing on their Facebook page that it’s official: The team will play home games in London in 2012, 2013 and 2014.

68 responses to “Rams will regularly play “home” games in London

  1. Please stop sending “home” games to Europe. There is a novelty aspect to the attendance numbers. I understand the desire to broaden the fan base (read: find new ways to make money) but regular season games should not be used. Send the pro bowl or an exhibition game over there if you must.

  2. “The big question for Rams fans is whether this could be a small step toward the Rams eventually playing eight home games a year in London.”

    it’s dumb enough to play ANY games in London, let alone 8 of them. what kind of team would that be? if you were a free agent and had some modicum of control over your destination, why would you sign there? they’ll go 0-16 every year with a team full of players they drafted (3 years or less of experience) and at-the-end-of-the-line-and-not-ready-to-admit-it vets that no one else will sign

  3. The Rams have struggled to sell out games cause they haven’t been good. If it was a winning franshise they wouldn’t have a problem.

    I don’t remember seeing the greatest show on turf if many empty seats.

  4. I am sure that Jeff Fisher and the Rams players. would love to take 30 hour plane rides from London (15 hours each way) to play Seattle and San Francisco every year if the Rams move to London
    Great decision!

  5. Great, send more business out of this country. If St. Louis won’t support the Rams, I’m sure that there’s another city in the United States that would gladly want them to become their “home” team.

  6. Ive been a Rams fan for 26 years and must say if and only if they were to become the London Rams, I would say that my time as a rams fan would come to an end…Get your A#%’s back home to LA where you belong !…And for all you peeps that keep saying the rams wont make it in LA because they had poor attendance..When the Rams were in LA only 4 NFL teams over that timespan had better attendance then the rams…so once again..find a better reason for them not to come home suckas !!

  7. Oklahoma City, Toronto, San Antonio. Just a couple cities that would be interested in hosting a team full time. I’m more insulted at the fact that this obvious money grab isn’t veiled at all. At least try to lie, and make it SEEM like this is somehow good for NFL fans.

    Yes, the NFL is a business, but it’s an entertainment business. And the patrons of its entertainment should get to dictate almost everything. Instead of trying to force a sport onto a country that doesn’t want it, why not try to expand in North America. I’ll bet guys would rather play full time in Mexico City than in London. Oh and while you’re at it GODell…can you stop renewing your video game license with EA? Seriously this is absolute greed and it makes me sick.

  8. Let’s see…4 straight games in London, 4 straight games in U.S., 4 straight games in London, then final 4 games in U.S. and a top 3 draft pick every year!!!!

  9. Goodell continues to try and cram something down the fan’s throats that they clearly don’t want.

    Give it up, for god’s sake, Commissioner.

  10. This will help lessen the St Louis area’s affection for the Rams so Kroenke (crikey!) can move them to LA in 2015.

  11. “NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has said he likes the idea of one team that becomes the regular “home” team in London….”

    Please, no. Either keep rotating teams through or give London its own franchise. Don’t give London the Rams, or the Buccaneers, or anyone else on a semi-permanent basis.

    Nothing against those teams, but having a team from somewhere else play some “home” games thousands of miles away because they can’t sell out their own stadium is lame.

  12. Great. The owner won’t even verbally commit to keeping the team in St. Louis, but is willing to be the “Home” team for London. I don’t know who I feel worse for, the Rams fans, or London for having to support the Rams.

  13. I would be pissed if I were a Rams fan. They’re losing a home game.

    Europe will never adopt American football.

  14. Wow,

    Could the NFL pick a worse team for this?

    (It is already known that that West Coast teams have problems traveling to the East Coast, and now let go another 3500 miles?)

    Tampa Bay should have been the pick.

    Tampa Bay has has a HUGE fan base out in England. They highlighted this throughout the week on NFL network when Tampa Bay went over to London to play. Tampa would have been an instant sell-out every time, and you are appealing to a fan base that already exists.

  15. Think this is a bad move. UK fans have been following the NFL since the mid 80’s so we’ve all got our favourite teams. Plus we can now watch live games every sunday on TV or over the internet (NFL Gamepass).

    I’m a Raiders fan, i’m not going to miss watching the Raiders live on a sunday just to drive 300 miles late sunday to London to watch a team i dont care for (unless its against the Raiders) and then get back late.

    If this happened 20 years ago it might have worked but now fans are deeply entrenched with their own teams. Rams/Pats would get the fans but the second theres a ‘Rams/Browns’ type game then watch Wembley get a low attendance.

  16. St. Louis, this is the precursor to your team leaving for LA. This is merely a team holding its fans against the fire for not coming to watch a crappy team in person. The team hasn’t had a winning season since 2003 (they had 8-8 teams in 2004 & 2006). I wouldn’t pay to see them, either.

  17. Oh great – first they send us the Bucs on a regular basis. now the Rams??? I thought they were trying to INCREASE the popularity of the NFL?

  18. Fisher will surely break the record for non-home home games in his career. Enjoy coaching the St Louis/LA/London Rams!

  19. Would it really make a lot of sense? Because one person in the organization has business ties there, and the team being not terribly popular at home is a selling point abroad? I’m not sure I agree with that logic, especially adding a few extra hours of travel time compared to an east-coast team.

    Now, for example, the Patriots would probably be a big seller overseas. Celebrity QB married to an international supermodel. Think about it – how many foreign soccer players who’ve come to play in the U.S. does the average person know about, besides David Beckham? And their moniker would make them a novelty overseas – with people already inclined to support or oppose the U.S., they would evoke more than a “ram” would.

  20. Sorry to hear this Ram fans. I feel for you all. I hate that the Americans that built this sport are suffering from the money hungry bastards to take it away to another country!!

  21. Why would the NFL knowingly let another massacre take place in London? Goodell is just screwing with Europeans now. Rams vs Patriots? Really? That game isn’t even going to be close to competitive. Couldn’t they have at least made it the Bills or the Bucs vs. Rams so that maybe there was a chance it could be a close game? I really feel bad for London now.

  22. I have been a Rams fan since I was ten years old, 1984. I have stuck with this team through the good times, far and few between, and through the bad times, almost every year it seems like. I hated when they moved from LA to St. Louis, but I still stuck with them. BUT, a permanent move to London will be the “Straw that breaks the camel’s back” for me as far as being a Ram’s fan. London? Really? My “loyalty over location” belief has just found it’s breaking point. =(

  23. The NFL is soooooo wrong on this one. Whenever I read/hear about the NFL in Europe, Mexico and Canada I just shake my head. Bigger isn’t always better, and continuing to take games out of the country is a travesty.

  24. What are the chances that Green Bay would play a home game in London?

    It is the owners behind this of course…tongues collectively hanging out at the prospect of more/new revenue from another continent.

    If the owners hadn’t made a ‘rule’ to disallow any more ownership similar to that in Green Bay, a bunch of these owners would have been done away with one by one as teams were bought by local fans, this irritating Euro experience would be eliminated.

    If Roger Goodell really represented the fans on an equal footing with the owners, he would support the Green Bay ownership model and get rid of that stupid rule. It is obvious he does not.

  25. Try to remember this:
    The Rams struggle to sell 66,000 tickets to their own hardcore fans.
    Wembley will sell out 86,000 tickets in a matter of minutes.

    I’m not saying it’s a good move, but throw this info in the hat with the over the top merchandise sales and added commercial incomes in the UK and europe, and I’ll say the math holds up.

    I’d hate to be that team though.

  26. Re: if there were a team that played 8 in london
    “if you were a free agent and had some modicum of control over your destination, why would you sign there?”

    Because London is awesome! It is one of the greatest cities in the world to live in. Outside of NYC, no other city in the US can compare.

    Marketing/endorsement opportunities: You would get exposure to european marketing opportunities that no other team could offer you. You could be the star of a small American region, or you could be the star of an entire continent!

  27. Anders Cules says:
    Jan 20, 2012 9:17 AM
    Try to remember this:
    The Rams struggle to sell 66,000 tickets to their own hardcore fans.
    Wembley will sell out 86,000 tickets in a matter of minutes.

    I’m not saying it’s a good move, but throw this info in the hat with the over the top merchandise sales and added commercial incomes in the UK and europe, and I’ll say the math holds up.

    I’d hate to be that team though.


    That’s essentially it. They have to expand the fan base to increase the revenue, thats why they do the Toronto game, and the England game yearly. They wouldn’T have the London Bowl, if it wasn’t popular and sold out.

  28. I think the NFL would probably extend their schedule to other days of the week. Can’t help but think that they would want to have a game on everyday of the week, giving them more prime-time games, more advertising revenue, and more exposure. If that’s the case, then the scheduling of long distance games would have to allow teams enough rest between travelling back and forth. The NFL wants to extend their brand across the world, and that would be the first step in that direction. There is no way to do that if there is no team within the same timezone. It’s the same reason that the English Premier League isn’t highly followed in the US. If Arsenal or Man U started playing meaningful games in the US, I’m sure people would be more interested in soccer outside of the World Cup.

  29. One of two teams will eventually move to LA. The Chargers, or the Rams. The NFL wouldn’t allow any other team moving to the West coast (including the Jaguars).

  30. This is crap. Now Rams fans lose a home game every year in St. Louis. It’s time for St. Louis to start rooting for a new team. If the Rams want to move, move now and save the Fans who will be wasting good money on season tickets. I can definitely find a better way to spend the $2,800!

  31. As a Brit, it’s a stupid idea. I’ve been 4 years in a row and I won’t bother this year at least. Well done NFL, you didn’t listen to the fans and this will be a flop.

  32. As an American citizen I’d like to take this moment to apologize to the people of London. You don’t deserve this.

  33. Season ticket sales have been going up, despite how awful the team has been. There is no reason to take our team away from us simply because they’ve been awful. St. Louis has supported the Rams, it’s just too bad management hasn’t. Things have been brutal since Frontiere died.

    And this is a terrible idea. #1 – Why do we have to lose a home game every year for 3 years? If you’re going to continue doing this, no team should have to give up home games 2 years in a row, let alone 3.

    #2 – For a struggling team, how do you expect them to sell season tickets/PSLs when you’re telling fans that they’ll get less for their dollar since they’re only going to get 7 games instead of 8?

    #3 – As everyone has pretty much already stated, London doesn’t care. This is a nice novelty once a year but no team would prosper out there. It just doesn’t make any sense whatsoever.

  34. I don’t think the NFL have grasped the fact that the people who go to watch the London NFL games go to have the privilege of going to see one NFL game a year.

    I’ve been to all but one of the games and the London crowd is made up of British fans of all of the NFL teams – it’s great as a one-off game, to celebrate the NFL, not the teams involved particularly. Though it was very cool to get to see the Niners last year from a selfish point of view; the wave was embarrassing though.

    Moving a franchise permanently probably isn’t going to work for a multitude of reasons, chief being that NFL fans here travel from all over the UK to go to the games and aren’t going to go to all 16 or 17 because of the costs involved (travel, tickets and accommodation) and the fact that if they really like the NFL they’ve had a team for years so would rather stay home and watch “their” team on the TV or on Game Pass.

    Why would you switch from being a lifelong Packers supporter to go and see every London Rams game (if they moved) or an expansion London Bulldogs or whatever they might be called ?

    People just aren’t going to go every fortnight. The fanbase for the NFL simply isn’t centralised around London enough for there to be enough demand in what is, alas, a fairly marginalised sport here – more so than even soccer in the US. Did you ever watch NFL Europe ? Tumbleweed at the end.

    And much like in soccer, fans of teams here are fiercely loyal, why on earth do the NFL think that we would go and see opponents’ home games every other week just because the game is on ? One Rams game a year maybe, sixteen times…? Not so much (although I can see that new fans are more likely to want to support the Rams if they play one game in London every year).

    Leave the NFL where it is, leave out the long travel and dealing with the time zone difference for the teams and the headache of awarding extra bye weeks.

    Much as I want to thank the NFL for the one game (and apologies for those fans who lose a home game, that must suck) leave it as it is. It’s just not worth the gamble.

    Plus who the heck wants to see The Rams ? Even if it’s in 2o17 and they hit on all of their free agents and draft picks…well, you know.


  35. Don’t worry season ticket holders……you won’t lose the 2 preseason games that you get to pay full price for.

  36. So do the Ram season ticket holders get some sort of price reduction?Unless they are going to fly those fans to Lomdon each year I don’t see why they should pay for 8 regular season games when they only play 7

  37. As an American who follows the EPL, I know what teams Kroenke has his hands in as I also follow Arsenal and most of the leagues in which he owns a team. However, I highly doubt the average Arsenal fan cares about what Kroenke owns over here and I doubt even more that they’re going to go to an NFL game because he owns one of the teams. That’s just a huge reach there. The UK might not like our style of football as much as we do but they’re not stupid and they know what teams are worth watching. I can’t imagine the Rams having a huge presence outside of the country. Why wouldn’t they do something like a Raiders/Cowboys game? These teams actually have a brand that travels. There are more examples but I’m not going to list them all.

  38. Now I see why Fisher was hired – showed he’s real good coaching nomadic franchises (Houston/Memphis/Nashville); that’s what Kroenke needs now

  39. I appreciate I’m rowing the boat solo here with my views, but this move is a perfectly natural business move.

    FWIW, I do not believe a full-on London based NFL franchise would work, but playing a couple of games a year in London/ Berlin/ Mexico/ Tokyo/ Beijing will. Thats why the 17/18 game season made so much sense, because it gave the extra games without losing any US based home games.

    The trouble with you Americans is you are so insular. Wake up guys; ‘your’ NFL is very popular in countries like the UK and Germany, its only natural games will come here, if numerous US cities can’t sell-out their home games . Its not a question of ‘IF’. its just a question of ‘HOW’.

    Great and numerous US corporations like Microsoft/ Boeing/ Ford/ Apple etc etc, export their popular and succesful products overseas; why shouldn’t the NFL ?

  40. Having a NFL team in London would never work. First off we have the time differences. I dont think NFL players from the States would want to travel for a game to London. It Brings a Huge advantage for the team in London. Then who would actualy sign to play in London? All the NFL players are from the US and doubt they would want to suddenly switch cultures and move to London. Many players would pull ELI Mannings in the sense that they wouldnt want to get drafted by the team in London? Goodell is an idiot if he really believes a team in London would work. There better off moving a team to LA then move one to another Country.

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