The National Football League formally announced on Friday that the St. Louis Rams will play the New England Patriots in London's Wembley Stadium as part of the NFL's ongoing International Series. The game will take place on October 28, 2012 at Noon CST and will air on CBS. The franchise also reached an agreement to be a part of the regular season London showcase in 2013 and 2014 as well, but no opponents have been set for those later contests. Rams owner Stan Kroenke has been non-committal about keeping the team in St. Louis long-term, but seems determined to build the brand and promote the product whenever the opportunity arises.
The 2012 International Series game marks the first time the Rams will ever play a regular season game in a foreign country, but they have played preseason games in London, Toyko and Berlin. From the hiring of Jeff Fisher to the commitment to the international showcase game, the Rams are returning to the front pages on NFL news, and it has been in a good way. Kroenke expressed his excitement over the new opportunity in the Rams' official press release:
"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. 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."
Stay tuned to SB Nation St. Louis for more information, and for in-depth analysis on the St. Louis Rams be sure to visit Turf Show Times. Visit SB Nation NFL for more news and notes around the league.