The St. Louis Rams today released the following statement in regard to their participation in the International Series at Wembley:
In an effort to focus on the Edward Jones Dome First Tier Process with the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission, the St. Louis Rams are withdrawing their commitment to play in London in future seasons beyond the 2012 regular season.
The St. Louis Rams will play the New England Patriots on Sunday, October 28, 2012 at London’s historic Wembley Stadium as previously announced.
“We are looking forward to playing in London this season as the NFL’s International Series offers a unique opportunity to grow the American football audience, expand the Rams’ brand to international fans and enhance St. Louis on the global stage,” said Kevin Demoff, Rams Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. “However, moving forward, we believe at this time our attention needs to be on the ongoing First Tier process. We have worked closely with the NFL in coming to this decision and remain key supporters of the International Series and its objectives."
The 2012 International Series contest marks the first time in team history that the Rams will play a regular season game outside of the United States. The Rams participated in the American Bowl during the preseason three times and won all three contests: a 1987 game against the Denver Broncos at Wembley Stadium; a 1989 matchup with the San Francisco 49ers at the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan; and a 1990 contest against the Kansas City Chiefs at Berlin, Germany’s Olympiastadion.
Chris Parsons, NFL Vice-President of International, said: "We appreciate the Rams’ support for our international growth strategy. We are currently working to add a second game in the UK, potentially for the 2013 season, in response to the growth in popularity of our sport. We hope to finalize these plans in the months ahead."