Blog Entry

Rams trip to London could violate St. Louis lease

Posted on: January 28, 2012 1:07 pm
Wembley StadiumBy Josh Katzowitz

Earlier this month, the NFL announced that the Rams would be headed to London to play one regular-season game per year from 2012-14. We can argue about whether it’s a good idea for the struggling franchise to make such a commitment (I say it’s a bad, bad idea), but that’s not what interests the city of St. Louis.

No, what the City of St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission is concerned about is whether the games violate the Rams lease with the Edward Jones Dome. As in, the lease apparently states that all St. Louis home games must be played in the Dome. And since the next three London games will be considered Rams home games, that’s a bit of a problem.

For owner Stan Kroenke, who also owns the English Premiere League’s Arsenal soccer team, traveling to London every year with his Rams squad is probably a great move. But for the city that actually houses his NFL franchise, it’s less so.

As the St. Louis Post Dispatch writes, “A section of the Rams' lease at the Dome calls for the team ‘to play all its home NFL Games (other than pre-season NFL Games) at the Facilities.’ The Rams can disregard this rule if the Dome is not in useable condition or if the lease is terminated, according to that section of the lease.”

Edward Jones Dome (Getty)There’s little doubt that the trip would be a financial gain for the Rams. Wembley Stadium seats about 14,000 more than the Edward Jones Dome, and considering St. Louis will face the Patriots, UK interest in the game should be high next year. Also, the NFL guarantees the home team a ticket revenue that’s equal to a regular home-game sellout plus the trip expenses.

But still, this calls back to the question on whether the Rams are being fair with their fan base by leaving for London for three consecutive seasons.

While the city agrees with Kroenke that the selection of the franchise by the NFL for the international game is an honor, it also emailed  a statement to the paper that read, “Our lease with the Rams requires that the Rams play all their home games in the Edward Jones Dome. We immediately brought this to the Rams' attention and are awaiting their reply."

Said Jeff Rainford, the chief of staff to St. Louis mayor Francis Slay: “I think it's obvious that the Rams expect the CVC to adhere to the terms of the lease. And I think it's reasonable for CVC to expect the Rams adhere to the lease."

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Since: Oct 15, 2006
Posted on: January 28, 2012 2:24 pm

Rams trip to London could violate St. Louis lease

As a resident of St. Louis I can assure you the city officials will do everything possible to screw this up.  If the Rams remaining in St. Louis comes down to the actions of these city officials, get ready to load the moving vans to LA.  So incompetent.  This is a simple example.  Should never let this paly out in the press.

Since: Jul 12, 2008
Posted on: January 28, 2012 2:21 pm

Rams trip to London could violate St. Louis lease

If the NFL wants an easy way out of this, they should just designate the Rams as the road team in their games in London.  Sure it would cost some other teams a home game, but since when has the league cared about the fans anyway?

Since: Mar 1, 2007
Posted on: January 28, 2012 2:19 pm

Rams trip to London could violate St. Louis lease

epie3,  Maybe if the St Loius fans supported the team to the point where it wasn't struggling, the NFL wouldn't have selected them to play in the UK. The decision was not only for the interest of the NFL, but for the Rams finances as well. The reason they made it home games for the Rams is because a team like New England has no problem selling out their home games, therefore they are not hurting for gate receipts. The Rams can't sell out a home game, so it only makes sense that the London games be home games for them.

  This is very typical of fan bases of struggling teams in general. The fans don't support them during tough times, but when the team wants to move, or when they have to find an alternative (like the London games), then the fans are pizzed off and act like they are being hard done by. Very selfish.

  Try selling out the season and you will see that the Rams will not be playing anywhere but in St Louis.

  That being said, I think the Rams are going in the right direction and Fisher will have that team competitive and in the hunt for a deep playoff run within a couple years. Too bad the fans didn't want to stick with them through the rough patch.       

Since: Aug 17, 2007
Posted on: January 28, 2012 2:09 pm

Rams trip to London could violate St. Louis lease

I am convinced that the NFL doesn't care about the fans of St. Louis. They don't care about cultivating football in St. Louis. In fact I think they are purposefully slapping the St. Louis fan base in the face to prepare them for the bigger slap in the face - the relocation of the Rams back to Los Angeles. I hope I am wrong, but that is the only reason that I can see for the NFL mistreating the fans of St. Louis like this.

Since: Jul 22, 2007
Posted on: January 28, 2012 1:58 pm

Rams trip to London could violate St. Louis lease

Nice to see that all the i's were dotted and t's were crossed before the NFL announced this...NOT!  HAHA!  Even the greatest company of all in this country (the National Football League) - the only good company, in my opinion...makes mistakes.

Since: Jan 4, 2007
Posted on: January 28, 2012 1:38 pm

Rams trip to London could violate St. Louis lease

It's awesome that this is such a high priority for the League.
They care more about pushing the game into the European market than they do about cultivating the experience here in the USA.
Fans are not having a good time "going to games" in the States.  Because of drunk jerks and a lack of institutional control. 
Might as well as people who are used to bad stadium behavior to fork over dollars instead of your core fan base.

I'd like to see the NFL re-think they're approach.  Improve things here.
When will enough money, be enough? 

Since: Oct 3, 2006
Posted on: January 28, 2012 1:36 pm

Rams trip to London could violate St. Louis lease

Rams violate their lease every week they play at the Jones Dome.  They are atrocious and the NFL is ridiculous for A) continuing to play in London and B) choosing the Rams to go.

Since: Aug 26, 2011
Posted on: January 28, 2012 1:26 pm

Rams trip to London could violate St. Louis lease

no one wants to watch the rams play in any dome

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