by Brad Biggs
January 20, 02012
The St. Louis Rams will indeed kick off a three-year series in London by playing the New England Patriots there in the 2012 regular season.
The news broke last night that the Rams would have a home game shifted from the Edward Jones Dome to London this coming season, likely against the New England Patriots.
The NFL confirmed that news this morning, announcing the game will be plated there on Oct. 28. The Rams will also play in the United Kingdom in 2013 and 2014. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said this last fall when the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers played there that the league was exploring the idea of having a team play there regularly.
Rams owner Stan Kroenke also owns Arsenal, the English Premier League soccer club, and his intriguing lease situation in St. Louis makes his team an obvious pick. The Rams can get out of their lease following the 2014 season if the Edward Jones Dome is not one of the top facilities in the NFL.
“The response to NFL games in the U.K. among our British fans has been exceptional,” Goodell said. “We are confident that having the Rams host one game in the U.K. in each of the next three seasons will allow us to better serve the growing popularity of our sport beyond the borders of the United States.”
Said Kroenke: “This is a tremendous honor for our franchise, the city of St. Louis and our fans throughout the world. 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.
While Goodell has also pushed the idea of having two regular-season games played in the U.K. each season, this will be the only game there in 2012.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune