St. Louis says Rams can’t play in London

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The Rams plan to play a home game in each of the next three seasons in London.  The powers-that-be in St. Louis apparently plan to prevent that.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission believes that the team’s lease at the Edward Jones Dome requires all home games to be played there.  The CVC manages the stadium.

“We immediately brought this to the Rams’ attention and are awaiting their response,” the CVC said in a statement.   “Our lease with the Rams requires that the Rams play all their home games in the Edward Jones Dome.”

Per the Post-Dispatch, the Rams’ lease requires the team “to play all its home NFL Games (other than pre-season NFL Games) at the Facilities.”  The Rams can avoid that obligation if, per the Post-Dispatch, the stadium “is not in useable condition or if the lease is terminated.”

The Rams have not yet stated their position on this issue.  If it lands in litigation in a Missouri state court, look for the court system to lean toward the CVC’s interests.  Elected judges tend to keep an eye on the electorate, and the local electorate will be ecstatic if the Rams can’t take the upcoming game against the Patriots to London.

96 responses to “St. Louis says Rams can’t play in London

  1. Yes! I think all of the teams should boycott Europe on the grounds that it is un-American. Also it is unfair that any team should have to forfeit home-field advantage so that Goodell can work on his global domination agenda.

  2. Yeah that is a way to make them stay, try to strong arm them.

    I was reading that they have an easily broken lease, so if that is the case why push them to break it? You lose then.

  3. I can’t believe they would commit to playing in London without clearing it with all interested parties (or at least have their lawyer look it over).

    They must be idiots. I can’t wait until the come to L.A.
    That’s what we need – more idiots.

  4. Who gives a rat’s behind about what the judge thinks about the local electorate?

    Why not just focus on the contract? It states all home games must be played in St. Louis. Why not just say: oh, if it goes to court, the judge will enforce that provision, like any judge in the country would.

  5. They could still play in London, but they would have to be the away team and the Pats or whomever they faced would have to lose the home game.

  6. I’m surprised more cities don’t do this. they are set to lose quite a bit of revenue by missing a home game, not to mention the fans. I wouldn’t be happy missing out on one of my team’s home games.

  7. The Rams players and coaches will never admit it, but they would be thrilled to play the game in St. Louis for many reasons. One reason is to avoid a 20 hour plane ride (10 hours each way).
    It is a stupid idea to have to go on a 20 hour plane ride for a “home” game anyway.

  8. hey grizzly, “home” game has to be defined and a judge would need to listen to arguments from each side on what constitutes a home game.

    In other words what was the intent or spirit of that particular clause in the contract.

    The team and the NFL may say that the contact does not state that 8 regular season games be played in Edward Jones stadium. The NFL could add that while St Louis will be listed as the “home” team for the sake of minor NFL rules, it is in fact not a home game, it is a embassador game which benefits the greater good of the NFL.

  9. Will the NFL ever get it? I mean the distance between the U.S. and Europe just does not make it feasible for any NFL. It basically requires the “home” team to play 9 roads instead of 8.

  10. Doesn’t matter. They’ll be the Los Angeles Rams next year. They’ll play in the Coliseum for three years until Farmer’s Field is finished. They could play one game a year in London.

  11. Ask Raheem Morris how London was for the Bucs last year. Tampa Bay was 4-2 going into a “home game” in London against the Bears. Chicago beat them, their season went down the tubes, and Morris lost his head coaching gig.

    Also, think about the insult this is to Rams fans who supported their team during some lean seasons. New England looms as a once-every-eight-year draw for season ticket holders in 2012, but the Rams seem primed to gladly piss that away.

  12. Look for it to be resolved, with all parties satisfied… meaning the NFL will shuffle some significant $ to St. Louis.

  13. Thank you!

    I know people in London and trust me, they could careless about the NFL. It’s mainly Americans living in Europe or die die hard sport fans who go to the London games.

  14. The judges in Missouri do not campaign for election because they are appointed by the governor. Every four years the voters have the right to say whether a judge should be retained and unless there is a vigorous effort by some lawyers who really do not care whether about the blowback, they will be retained.

  15. Maybe if more than about 45,000 people turned up for a home game your city wouldn’t be losing a game to come over here…

  16. so maybe the rams play three away games in london and i doubt they will play the pats there now. Maybe if they are playing the jags,bucs vikes chargers nect year

    The vikes might be in a make shift 50 thousand seater cfb stadium next year. might has well play in front of more fans in london

  17. Wembley will sell out this year – I guess that’s about 85,000 people + enormous publicity for the NFL in UK and Europe. Or the game could stay in St Louis where it’ll be about 2/3rd full and nobody will watch it on TV.

    In the UK: Sunday viewing figures up about 75% since 2006, Superbowl figures up almost 200% also since 2006 – and the NFL as a business is making more money than ever (not just in the UK). Clearly this strategy is working

  18. As a matter of fact the vikes will have no lease on a stdium at all next year. They could play all of there home games in London

  19. I think the NFL should call those games “away” for the Rams, and offer the rest of the teams the opportunity to play a game in London as the “home” team.

    If none volunteer, then kill this stupid marketing experiment!

  20. gee, one would like to think that the rams’ and nfl’s lawyers would have scoped out stuff like this first.

  21. For Kingjoe:

    A court doesn’t have to define home game. It’s pretty clear. This case will never get to the litigation stage b/c it would be thrown out in the blink of an eye.

    Ex: all cats are animals.

    Define a cat? Yes, I’m sure Judge Judy is gonna pull out Webster’s dictionary and look up the definition of cat, and then let the parties argue about what they meant by cat. And then, rather than just looking at the contract, the judge will consider how the electorate will want cat to be defined.

    What’s the argument that a cat isn’t a cat? We believe that all cats are cats, except for when we take one cat and ship him to London. Then he’s an ambassador, and most certainly not a cat.

  22. Good!! First we have relatively low-scoring big-defense conference championships that are ratings blockbusters. Now we have cities finding ways to say no to sending their teams to London. At some point, the owners are going to realize Goodell is not in sync with what rank-and-file fans want!

  23. Aside from the obvious security issues, it would make so much more sense for a team to play in Mexico, the mexican fans are way more knowledgeable about the sport, Mexicans maybe poor, but one thing they do is they will always spend big money on big time events, Mexico right now is one of the MOST dangerous countries in the world, but if Goodell is stuck in getting the NFL out of the USA, Mexico and Canada are better places to start, the NFL will never be bigger than the Premier League of the Champions League in Europe, at most it will be a second rate sport over there, Mexico and Canada really appreciate the sport.

  24. Look at that picture. Tell me that stadium isnt almost brand spanking new?

    Why on earth would the rams leave and cite the stadium being outdated considering they never got one built in CA in the first place?

    Is it opposite day or are you pundits putting some extra spin on it.

  25. It is understandable that the league wants to build up a fan base in the U.K. for the future revenue derived from the broadcast rights. The problem is the logistics of teams traveling to Europe. It is unfair to the teams involved force upon them the extra travel while the other 30 teams get a bye from it. Why not bring the fans of Europe over here for the games by offering packages to the games of their favorite team. Let the college teams play over there and give the kids a lifetime experience.

  26. Judges in the City of St. Louis and in St. Louis County are appointed under the Missouri Non-Partison Court Plan, they are not elected even though that would not make a difference. The law and the facts are what matter.

  27. The local electorate will be ecstatic if the Rams could actually play football period. Home, Away, London, or even Mars doesn’t matter just win some freaking games already!!

  28. Is this a good start in persuading the Rams to remain in St Louis?

    Seems like the CVC is firing a big middle finger in their direction and telling them not to let the door hit them on the way out.

  29. harrisonhits2 says: Jan 27, 2012 5:36 PM
    Pats or whomever they faced would have to lose the home game.
    Wont happen, NE is a major market, which is why the rams were the “away” team to start with.

  30. Awesome title ” St Louis says Rams can’t play in London” Here”s another relevant title “Rams can not play in America” they stink where ever they play.

  31. Why can’t they just be the “Away” team when they play in London. It’s not really a “Home” game anyway…

  32. Hey London, throw another Royal Wedding that day, instead. Sadly, more people here would watch that than the Rams anyway.

  33. This is beyond ridiculous. Stop trying to jam a square peg (the NFL) into a soccer loving round hole (London). 9 billion a year isn’t enough Goodell???

  34. No way Rams didn’t know their lease! Seems like they are looking for a fight? So as to move the team back to LA.

  35. SmackSaw says: “Doesn’t matter. They’ll be the Los Angeles Rams next year. They’ll play in the Coliseum for three years until Farmer’s Field is finished. They could play one game a year in London.”

    They’ll probably play at the Rose Bowl. The Coliseum is so intertwined with USC at this point, that the commission can’t effectively make any kind of agreement with the NFL without the school’s permission — and USC really has no incentive to grant it.

  36. “benmci says:
    Jan 27, 2012 6:12 PM
    Awesome title ” St Louis says Rams can’t play in London” Here”s another relevant title “Rams can not play in America” they stink where ever they play.”

    “I guess a should’ve won two Super Bowls instead of one. Rough crowd.”


    Kurt Warner (formerly of the Greatest Show on Turf)

  37. thetooloftools says: “I don’t think any team really wants to move to LA. Why? Teams that moved in, moved out. If you build it, they still won’t come.
    That is L.A.”

    Your login name kind of says it all; shouldn’t it be thetrolloftrolls?

    Yeah, the Raiders moved right back to Oakland — 12 years after they showed up like an uninvited cousin. And let’s not forget the Rams — they were only in Southern California for 47 years.

  38. I can almost hear Goodell on the phone now: “How much will it cost to rename Wembley to the ‘Edward Jones Dome’ for one day? …. uh huh …uh huh … Okay, no problem, Harrison’s fines should cover that…”

  39. The NFL really likes to pick on losing teams for the London home game; the 9ers had to go a few years back. Football is an American sport with little international appeal. Worry about taking care of your fans here and the NFL will do great for decades. Or be like baseball, and be the former #1 if you’d like. We not do international TV deals first and go from there?

    Nobody out here calls the Rams “St. Louis”, everyone says “LA”. They are the 9ers natural rival and I can’t stand them, but they should be in LA with their original fanbase that I see at every 9er/Rams game. LA does need to be a better sports town though. They need to prove they can support a team. Build the new stadium next to Staples, because hoops is the only thing that plays down there…

  40. I don’t get it. Can someone answer these questions?
    1. If you want to build a Superbowl winning team, why do you give up home games when stats show the home team has a marked advantage (even against the Pats, Steelers, Pack, etc)? Why do you employ a 7 million/year head coach if you do not want to win?
    2. Who is actually putting up the money for the LA stadium and how do they get their money back unless they own the team (and who is selling)?
    3. Why not just give LA a team, call them the Rams and let STL have an NFL franchise as was done in Cleveland? STL may be a baseball town but it is the the 21st largest tv market. Why the hell does Jacksonville (50th) have a team? Even Sacramento is much higher.

  41. nineroutsider says: “The NFL really likes to pick on losing teams for the London home game; the 9ers had to go a few years back . . . Worry about taking care of your fans here and the NFL will do great for decades. Or be like baseball, and be the former #1 if you’d like . . . the Rams . . . are the 9ers natural rival and I can’t stand them, but they should be in LA with their original fanbase ”

    I really wanted to Thumbs-Up for your sentiment about returning the Rams to Los Angeles, but I think you may be a little confused about what’s going on with the London games. The NFL isn’t “picking on” anyone. Rather, the London game is a something of a windfall for an attendance-challenged team; seat prices are generally higher than domestic tickets, and Wembly accommodates more fans than many of the stadia in the U.S. A London game provides a substantial boost to an underperforming team’s bottom line. The Niners didn’t “have” to go, they “got” to go.

  42. “maspc467” says “The law and the facts are what matter” ( to the judges ).

    How naive. Ever heard of Clarence Thomas or Antonin Scalia?

  43. How does Kevin Demoff not know what the lease agreement reads? That should have been the first thing he looked at before applying for this trip. He was so prepared when had that live chat on the Rams website but may have overlooked the most important issue, the lease agreement? Something as fundamental as the lease agreement shouldn’t be overlooked.

    No NFL city should lose home games to London and I hope the city of St Louis sues the NFL forcing them to stop this idiotic expiriment of playing in Europe?

  44. @NoHomeTeam

    So the London game sells out every year? I was under the impression that it has been losing attendance every year since it’s inception. Even with that, that stadlium holds more people than most, if not all, NFL stadiums so I see your point. Even with 75K instead of 84K teams make more money than at home.

    However, as a fan, I don’t think they should play home games anywhere else but home. They play only 8 real home games a year (unless your team makes the playoffs) and fans, who support the team all year round for decades, shouldn’t lose a game. Plus, with the travel (especially from SF), I think it is a disadvantage in terms of football for teams that play the London game.

  45. “Duh, Rams to LA, Jags to St Louis. A dome that needs worth beats TARP Field”.

    JAX (25th in average attendance) 62,331
    STL (31st in average attendance) 56,394

    Don’t buy into every blog that you read. Nice try though.

  46. good! I hope the NFL gets screwed! No NFL city should lose a home game ,unless its something unforeseen, since there is only 8 a yr! and especially lose one overseas! F them get there own football league

  47. Why doesn’t the NFL sidestep this ‘home game’ issue by designating the Rams as the ‘road’ team?
    What advantage does the ‘home team’ have when it is playing a continent away from its fans? The NFL isn’t stupid – it must have a Plan B when it designates the Rams as the home team in London for 3 straight years.

  48. I wonder if Fisher has some tie/kickback to the 3 year London deal with the Rams. It HAD to be mentioned during the negotiations to hire him – just like the possibility of moving to LA – and he must have used it to his advantage. Both those deals have to be an option clause in Fisher’s contract: IF this, then THAT.

  49. @Docboss

    Sacramento is the (20th) TV market, larger than a TON of cities including St Louis(21st) Pittsburgh(23rd) and Charlotte(24th) among many others. Jacksonville is (47th). So no it’s not shameful to be behind SacTown’s TV market.

  50. Good deal. Stick it to that SOB, R.G. Greedy and too big for his britches. Stupid idea anyway. 8?? hour time difference between western USA and London. Bad enough now with the week day games ending at 12:30 or so.
    Spend time on containing costs which are hurting attendance now.

  51. My belief is your team accepts millions of dollars from the tax payers of a state or county then it is only right that all the home games should be played in said stadium and should also be seen on tv in those markets regardless of sell out. This games create tons of money in taxes for these local economies and as a mo tax payer our tax revenue shouldn’t be ttaken away for a fa city not even in the USA.

  52. If im not mistaken the ram stadium lwase contains a clause allowing the ram ls to break it free of penalty if ram attendance in the top 25% in total. Losing a home game would effectively trigger that clause thus thia issue could be resolved by the Rams agreeing not to invoke the clause.

  53. Also worth mentioning the people of St Louis funded that stadium, so they could watch football in St Louis, not see their games end up in London.

    It was with deep sorrow that I heard Goodell got an extension to 2018.

  54. nineroutsider says: “@NoHomeTeam: . . . However, as a fan, I don’t think they should play home games anywhere else but home. They play only 8 real home games a year (unless your team makes the playoffs) and fans, who support the team all year round for decades, shouldn’t lose a game.”

    Ah, the fans. On this point, I agree with you. It’s not fair to loyal fans — even if there aren’t enough of them to sell out every home game — that they lose a chance to see their team play. It’s my understanding that season ticket holders are refunded the cost of the game that they don’t get to attend, but that’s purely monetary compensation. I suppose that’s why the League has thus far resisted sending Divisional or other “rivalry” games abroad, but I do understand your sentiment.

  55. Everyone needs to leave Goodell alone. He is the only thing that keeps this league from being the football version of And 1.

  56. To everyone saying make the patriots the home team: do you honestly think Bill Belichick would give up a home game? There is no chance that happens, especially since Kraft and Goodell are tight.

  57. I honestly can’t believe how close minded most people on this forum are being. As a Londoner i can tell you there is a massive NFL following over here, that is growing year on year. Everyone here would quite happily welcome a permanent NFL team. And its not just a benefit for us, its a benefit for the states aswell. You’d be expanding the market on one of your most popular sports and be able to generate a lot more revenue, not only from ticket sales but you’d have a much bigger fan base, all of whom would want merchandise and everything else that goes with the sport.

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