Despite St. Louis objections, NFL hopes Rams “host” London games

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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell acknowledged today that there are potential problems between the Rams and St. Louis, but he said he still expects the Rams to become the designated “home” team for an annual game in London.

“We’re going to play the London games,” Goodell said. “We hope it will be with the Rams and the New England Patriots next year. That’s what we planned. I think it’s great for the city of St. Louis to be able to get that global exposure, but there are issues that are going to have to get resolved.”

The issues that have to get resolved revolve around the Rams’ lease, which says the Rams’ regular-season home games have to be played at the Edward Jones Dome. St. Louis wants to hold the Rams to that term of the lease, while the Rams are saying the local taxpayers will need to finance improvements to the stadium to put it in the top 25 percent of all NFL stadiums. If issues come to a head, it’s possible that the Rams could move out of St. Louis entirely, but Goodell said he hopes it doesn’t come to that.

“We want to keep our franchises where they are so we’d love to have the St. Louis Rams stay in St. Louis,” Goodell said. “There are lease issues.”

But one way or another, Goodell promised, “We will be playing in London next year.”

35 responses to “Despite St. Louis objections, NFL hopes Rams “host” London games

  1. Great I hope the Rams break the lease. Then St. louis has a right to sue for lost income. This may force the hand of the NFL. That is why I think Goodell knows that Rams are still staying in Saint Louis.

  2. I don’t know how anyone makes the “global exposure is great for St. Louis” argument with a straight face.

    Yes, I am sure thousands of fans in England are going to be motivated to learn more about the great city of St. Louis because their football team played a game there.

    Believe me, I didn’t type that with a straight face.

  3. Most NFL fans are dead set against Goodell’s megalomaniacal obsession with world domination. But he’s more than made clear he doesn’t care what his bread-and-butter fans think. It would be delicious to watch the city of St. Louis thwart the his evil schemes 😈

  4. The idea of St. Louis benefitting from the international exposure generated has no substance, because the game isn’t played in St. Louis.

  5. Just St Louis’ way of getting compensation…NFL has plenty of money; they will just pay them an agreed amount that represents typical game day revenue…

  6. There is something more to this than meets the eye.

    Between the serious crackdown on hitting, and now his desire to move games to London, I wonder if Goodell’s true intentions are to bury the NFL and turn into some kind of wacky soccer/football hybrid panty party.

  7. The NFL’s “strategy” for these London games is simply bizarre. For the sake of fairness and also to better expose English fans to the game, the same teams shouldn’t be going over there every year. Do they actually believe Londoners are going to grow some great affinity for the Rams because they play one game there a year?

    And we won’t even get into the fact they had a full-time team in London that was actually quite popular…right up until they closed it down, shortly before they killed off the European league entirely.

  8. International Exposure for “Saint Louis” Goodell says. So when is the Arsenal and Manchester United going to play 3 consecutive years in Saint Louis ? I wonder what those fans across the pond would be saying.

  9. St Louis should fight this tough and nail. Losing a home game affects revenue, exposure to St Louis, home field advantage, travel risks, and travel fatigue. Having the game a home actually provides more exposure to the city than having it abroad. Not to mention, the Rams have a contract that says they must play in St Louis!!

  10. Maybe I am missing something here. Why wouldn’t both teams be allowed to keep their 8 home dates and the game in London be counted as an away game for both teams?

  11. Its good for St. Louis because it promotes it’s football team’s brand globally.

    Here’s a simple resolution: have Stan waive the “top 25%” provision and have your 3 London games. Done.

  12. This is just wrangling between St. Louis and the Rams. St. Louis will drop the “home game” clause in exchange for dropping the “top 25% of stadiums” clause.

  13. Keep the NFL here in the US. Its not fair to fans. This whole idea of traveling out of the country to play games is ridiculous. This is not an international league.
    I hated to see Goodell’s contract renewed. I just wonder how much more he can screw up the best sport in America, before he is done.

  14. If the rams and the NFL want to take away home games maybe they should pony up the money for stadium upgrades and stop beging the good people of Missouri to do so. Jerry Jones owns his stadium maybe he would be happy to give up a home game for London.

  15. joesphkerr says:
    Feb 3, 2012 12:53 PM
    Maybe I am missing something here. Why wouldn’t both teams be allowed to keep their 8 home dates and the game in London be counted as an away game for both teams?

    If two teams play away games against each other, two teams must play home games against each other. I assume you see the flaw there.

  16. So the Rams get one home game against the Pats every 8 years and they have top play it in England. How is it fair to the fans to miss what will be their biggest home game next year? I have no problem with them wanting to expand the brand, but there are other ways of doing this. Put the third week of preseason there, the Pro Bowl there, or anything besides games that have actual meaning. To say that it benefits anyone other than the NFL is absurd.

  17. “the Rams are saying the local taxpayers will need to finance improvements to the stadium to put it in the top 25 percent of all NFL stadiums. ”

    What is the significance in being in the top 25% of NFL stadiums? How is that measured and how/why does that matter? If they move up, and some other city becomes a “75 percenter” is that city then going to be pressured to try and “improve” their stadium?

  18. Gee, Rog, I didn’t realize how much you wanted to help the city of St. Louis.

    But since you do, I’d like ask a favor of you for all of my St. Louis friends.

    Please tell the owner of the franchise you have there to stop trying to extort the taxpayers in to building him a new stadium.

    I’ve got a feeling that might be more helpful to the people of St. Louis than robbing them of the millions in revenue a home game generates for the city.

  19. The whole international exposure angle is completely bogus… you think people in London are going to all of a sudden have interest in the city because the Rams are there? Just buttering this up to move them to LA, what a chotch.

  20. I still say London is leverage against St. Louis. The NFL would much rather have the Rams back in L.A. than in a small market like St. Louis. And the Rams would like more money… wherever that is.

    Just don’t see how having a team in London works at all. I don’t see how the league would address the fairness issue with jet lag. The home London team would have an advantage over the jet-lagged team that visits London. Likewise, the London team would be jet-lagged itself for EVERY away game. Seems that would be really hard on the players… not to mention the families of the players.

    Take away the dollar signs, and a team in London just seems like a really bad idea.

  21. The Rams players should revolt. They will have hard enough time making the playoffs without being singled out for 9 road games each year.

  22. The rams will get this included on the counter offer to the CVC lease proposal. Book em in London, book em long term in st louis, at least til 2025. Sorry L.A., your new team will be one of the locals, be it oakland or san diego. BOOK IT.

  23. He couldn’t care less about/ our city’s. He just wants to line the owners pockets. That’s what he’s paid to do.

  24. Screw the city of STL. Go play where you want to play and stick it to them dry, hard and fast. No reach around.

  25. Roger Goodell is the Peter Principle on steroids — he has risen miles beyond his level of incompetence, which is probably dog catcher. Off the top of my head, here are just a few of his absolute boneheaded decisions:
    1. Fining and suspending players for hits that were not even called penalties during a game. Unmitigated hypocrisy of selling videos on the same big hits for which players were fined.
    2. Suspending a player (Rothlisberger) 6 games, who was not only not convicted of a crime, but who was not even charged with a crime.
    3. Insisting on playing games in London to the detriment of American teams and when not even people in London give a rip. Why?
    4. Consistently pushing an 18-game season which is absurd and, even worse, claiming that “this is what the fans want” — total BS.
    5. Pushing a Super Bowl in London — if the NFL does this, I will never watch another NFL game.
    6. Admitting that he talked to Ochocinco during the Lockout when he himself prohibited any contact with players.
    7. Telling Peter King that he talked to 25 Steelers in deciding Rothlisberger’s punishment. Then backtracking and saying it was just 25 players in the league. Question: Why was he getting the opinions of other players when deciding a suspension for an opposing player?
    8. Changing the Rules indiscriminately so that long-time fans don’t understand a Catch is, what a Touchdown is, and what constitutes a Legal Hit. Worse, not even the officials know.
    9. Total unflinching focus on $$$$. Every Goodell decision is motivated by how to increase the $$$$ to the owners. No concern with Fans whatsoever.
    10. The Mother of Them All — selling tickets to the Super Bowl for seats that didn’t exist.

    I can’t think of even ONE thing this guy has done right. He is incompetent.

  26. Born and raised in st. Louis. How in the world will the rams playing in London affect me in anyway other then taking millions of dollars in revenue away from my local economy?

  27. “I think it’s great for the city of St. Louis to be able to get that global exposure”…..I would bet the person Goodell sees in the mirror, does not believe a word of this! This never ending expansionism to Europe and all points beyond is ludicrous !Nobody wants this except the Commish.The London team would be living on the plane or in a hotel land base.His current Administration has changed the rules to virtually eliminate defense from the game. The players are afraid to tackle and the refs don’t even know what is and is not a penalty.Time for Goodell to take a hike, put defense back in the game and let the NFL play in the USA !

  28. View from the UK: The London NFL game is a privilege for the fans who attend the game – from all over Europe I might add, not just England – we realise this and appreciate these games. The games are always sold out – or very nearly sold out(last year there were empty seats, the first time since these games have been taking place). I cannot think of anyone I’ve met or know who’d want a NFL team in London. It’ll never, ever happen. Goodell is blowing smoke up Euro arses whenever he says this. We have no more interest in having a team in London than St.L has in having a soccer team in the Premier League. It’s all just talk, and maybe if the Rams sold all their games out then it wouldn’t be them making the trip this year – and maybe for another 2 after it.

  29. I’m absolutely amazed that people even go to these games anymore…I just don’t understand it. I’d be SO pissed if my team was trying to pack up and leave.

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