Tag:Wembley Stadium
Posted on: February 22, 2012 11:59 am

St. Louis will allow Rams to play overseas

Wembley By Josh Katzowitz

When the NFL announced that the Rams would spend at least one game in the next three seasons playing a home game in London, the league might not have realized the headaches that were to follow.

The City of St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission pointed out that the overseas trips violated the terms of the lease with the Edward Jones Dome. Which led the NFL to suspend ticket sales for the 2012 game between the Rams and the Patriots (though they eventually resumed).

Now, it appears the Rams WILL play in Wembley Stadium next year, as the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports. In exchange for allowing the Rams to play one home game away from St. Louis in 2012, the team will allow the Dome to increase the number of weekends during the season that the facility can be used for non-Rams activities*.

The team will also pay the game-day employees the wages they would have earned during the game they will miss.

*In the original lease, the Dome could be used one weekend a month to book conventions or concerts. But now, for the next three years, the Dome can use the facility for those non-Rams activities for two weekends a month.

But this issue between the city and the team probably won’t go away. The lease was amended only for 2012, and as the paper writes, “The future games allow the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission to retain a bargaining chip over a separate, larger issue: negotiations about renovating the Dome.”

"This agreement gives the CVC more powerful tools to help entice major events to St. Louis, which parallels our strategy of elevating St. Louis on a global stage," Kevin Demoff, the Rams executive vice president of football operations, said in a statement.

And for now, gives a temporary agreement that will allow everybody involved (the city, the team and the league) to get what they want.

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Posted on: January 20, 2012 8:40 am
Edited on: January 20, 2012 1:23 pm

Rams to face Patriots in London in '12

Wembley StadiumBy Josh Katzowitz

With Rams owner Stan Kroenke also owning the English Premier Leagues’ Arsenal soccer team, a date in London to play the NFL’s annual international game certainly makes sense. And St. Louis players had better get used to it, because not only will they face the Patriots in 2012, but the Rams also have signed up to play in London in 2013 and 2014.

That’s the word from the team, which also reports that next year’s game will occur Oct. 28 at 1 p.m. ET (6 p.m. local time).

The Rams will be the home team in 2012, meaning they’ll lose a game at the Edward Jones Dome.

“This is a tremendous honor for our franchise, the city of St. Louis and our fans throughout the world,” Kroenke said in a statement. “We are excited about the opportunity to reach new audiences globally. This is a great platform to showcase the city of St. Louis to London and the UK.
“We’ve seen first-hand the increased popularity of the NFL not only in London but throughout Europe. To play a role in that growth over the next three years will be incredible and is a testament to the many good things happening not only in the NFL but also in the St. Louis Rams organization.”

[RELATED: Is playing in London a good idea for a team intent on winning the second half of the season?]

As the St. Louis Post Dispatch points out, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in October that he wanted to see a few teams becoming regulars in London (the Buccaneers, for example, have been twice already, and next year will mark New England's second trip across the Atlantic) so they could begin to build a following in Europe.

That would be “very powerful and lead us to what we ultimately would like to do -- have a franchise here in London,” Goodell said.

The NFL is contracted to play at least one regular-season contest in London through 2016.

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Posted on: April 18, 2011 5:47 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 6:17 pm

Bears, Bucs in London, sked coming Tuesday at 7

Posted by Will Brinson

Less than a week ago, a report surfaced that the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers would play in London during 2011.

That information was verified by the NFL on Monday afternoon, when the game was announced as the first part of the 2011 schedule. The rest of the schedule will be released on Tuesday, April 19 at 7:00 PM EST, live on NFL Network.

The game will take place on Sunday, October 23 and will be played at Wembley Stadium at 6:00 PM UK time, which means Chicagoans will get to watch their Bears play at the normal noon central time they're accustomed to.

"Our past four games in London have demonstrated the tremendous passion for NFL football that exists in the UK," said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in a press release. "We hope by staging another extraordinary game at Wembley that we can continue to grow our existing fan base and attract even more new fans."

Oh, but there is one catch to that timing which was kind of buried in the press release -- if the labor situation isn't cleared up by August 1, the game will not be played in England. This, I presume, is to make sure that the NFL doesn't manage to make another country angry by making forcing worthless ticket sales down the throats of the citizens there.

Back to football, though: The Buccaneers sound excited, and not just because it means they can avoid at least one blackout in 2011 (hey-o!).

"We are honored to be selected to participate in the NFL International Series for a second time,” said Buccaneers co-chairman Bryan Glazer. "We are looking forward to promoting Tampa Bay's emerging young team on the world stage. We have the longest running fan club of any NFL team in the UK and look forward to seeing so many familiar faces from the Bucs UK fan club at the game."

All jokes aside, I had no clue that the Bucs were so popular in Europe. Perhaps it has something to do with the close proximity of Florida to England? Or perhaps the pirate-theme? Or maybe just because the Glazers own Manchester United as well. Probably the last part.

Of course, the Bears have been in this position before -- having played in Wembley way back in 1986 during a preseason exhibition overseas.

"To return to London to play an NFL game – this is going to be fun," said Chicago Bears Chairman Michael McCaskey. "I remember how enthusiastic the fans were in 1986 when we played in Wembley Stadium and defeated the Dallas Cowboys. London fans were so welcoming and blended their traditions of singing soccer songs with the NFL-style of presenting games. Of course the Chicago Bears are very pleased to have been named the 'Team of the Year’ by UK fans following the 2010 season. So we are looking forward to facing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in October and playing in person before our terrific fans in the UK and Europe."

Anyone else seeing some sort of bizarro world rivalry building up here, where the Bucs and Bears fight for the right to own England's heart? Maybe it's just me.

Whatever, this is a matchup that'll be derided by many people as the typical "junk-o-la game shipped to England."

But the truth is the Bears were in the NFC Championship Game last year and they've got plenty of flashy stars, and the Bucs have one of the game's biggest risers in Josh Freeman in addition to a bunch of young talent.
Posted on: February 9, 2011 9:26 am

London game is in danger for 2011

Posted by Andy Benoit

If you’re a jingoistic American who doesn’t like seeing NFL regular season games being played across the pond, you’ll see a bright side to the NFL labor strife. Alex Marvez of Fox Sports says that the annual game in London is on hold until a new Collective Bargaining Agreement is reached.

The league is planning on playing the game in 2011, but only if a new CBA is reached in March.
London (US Presswire)
"We are going through the preparation right now," Chris Parsons, the NFL’s VP of international business said. "We are working with the (NFL) scheduler to make sure if we do get the CBA done by a certain time that we will actually be able to execute that game. Normally we announce the game at this time of year, but we've chosen not to do that because of the uncertainty."

Because of the logistics involved, the NFL normally has to schedule the game sometime in February. However, with several years of experience with playing in London now, the league may need less prep time in 2011 than usual. It’s also possible that the league could salvage the game by playing it later in the season, as opposed to in October.

"We're going to hold out to play the game as long as possible," Parsons said. "The closer it gets to the start of the season, the harder this gets to do."

Marvez writes, “The lack of a London game would disrupt the momentum the NFL has gained in the market. All five of the previous Wembley Stadium contests were sellouts. The league also is expecting a record rating for Super Bowl XLV in the United Kingdom (final numbers are still being tabulated).”

He also points out that NFL postseason ratings on Sky Sports television in Britain increased 60 percent this past year.

The NFL is more than eager to expand its British presence. There has been mention of eventually putting a team in London.

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Category: NFL
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