By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek
February 3, 2012
The St. Louis Rams’ plans to play home games in London in each of the next three seasons could be in jeopardy. The St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission said the Rams’ lease requires the team to play all home games at Edward Jones Dome. Rams owner Stan Kroenke also owns the English Premier League club Liverpool, and viewed the London games as a way to grow his NFL team’s brand internationally. If a resolution isn’t quickly reached, the issue could go to litigation.
The prospect of losing three home games over three years is particularly worrisome for Rams fans. The team has long been rumored one of the leading candidates to relocate to Los Angeles should the NFL decide to move a team there. Additionally, the team’s Edward Jones Dome lease states that the venue has to be “first-tier” or in the top 25% of NFL stadiums by 2015, or the Rams can opt out. The St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission proposed a $120 million renovation that would see the team pay half the costs, but ultimately, the Rams have the leverage in this negotiation.