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SBD/August 14, 2012/Franchises
Rams Cancel Plans For London Games; Front Office Looks To Ease Fans' Fear Of Relocation
Published August 14, 2012
PULSE OF THE FANS: Demoff said that the Rams’ decision “wasn’t made in an effort to spur ticket sales.” Demoff: “We had a very good renewal rate (on season tickets). That wasn't the issue. The sponsors have come up; we have greater sponsorship numbers this year than last year. This was not based on any feedback we got at the box office, or fiscally.” He added, “This was based off of really taking the pulse of our fan base and understanding that they were confused about why we were going to London for multiple years.” In St. Louis, Jim Thomas notes the Rams had “sold about 40,000 season tickets” as of the start of training camp. Demoff said of the timing of the announcement in relation to the team's lease deal and First Tier stadium process, "We're not as far along in the first-tier process that we had hoped. ... From everything I hear we're on track for an arbitration that'll start sometime kind of in the middle of the season” (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 8/14).
HITTING THE RESET BUTTON: In St. Louis, Bryan Burwell writes the Rams' playing in London "just wasn't worth the time, aggravation or expense.” Issues included the "potential loss of ticket sales from some skeptical season-ticket holders who are nervous that their team might be short-timers in St. Louis, plus the added expenses of paying local stadium workers for missed wages for that one lost home game.” This was a “strategic re-boot philosophically for the Rams, because in terms of their overall business plan, everything leads us to their ultimate goal, which is finding the best way to put this football team in a new state-of-the-art stadium in the near future” (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 8/14). ESPN.com’s Mike Sando wrote, “This was a good move for the team on the field." The decision also was "helpful in countering perceptions that the Rams, currently mired in a stadium arbitration process, had one eye on the horizon and a foot out the door” (ESPN.com, 8/13).