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Rams to play home game in London for next three seasons

  • By NFL.com Wire Reports
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The St. Louis Rams will be the home team during next year's International Series game in London, a team source told NFL Network's Albert Breer on Friday.

The team later confirmed, via its Facebook page, that it will host the New England Patriots on Oct. 28 at Wembley Stadium. The team also announced that it will play one of its home games in London in 2013 and 2014.

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The game will serve as one of the Rams' eight home games next season and will mark the second time the Patriots have traveled to England during the regular season.

The Rams are owned by Stan Kroenke, who is also the majority shareholder in English soccer club Arsenal.

"We've seen first-hand the increased popularity of the NFL, not only in London but throughout Europe," Kroenke said. "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."

The Patriots have already been to London, beating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 35-7 in 2009. Owner Robert Kraft already is looking forward to returning, especially since the team again doesn't have to give up a home game.

"For us in a way it is like, I think, having another home game, we have such a large fan base there," Kraft said. "We have had a group of fans come over from the UK and come here to a game each year and it is a tremendous fan base."

Last year's game in London featured the Buccaneers and the Chicago Bears -- the Bears won 24-18. That game was the first to be played in Wembley that was not a sellout.

The NFL has been trying to bring two games a season to Britain since first having a game played there in 2007, but the league said the Rams-Patriots contest would be the only one in 2012.

"This year is a very competitive year for sport in the UK, especially with the Olympics in London," NFLUK managing director Alistair Kirkwood said. "Also, with the Rams having made an unprecedented commitment to playing in the UK for the next three years, we wanted to focus on them as our 'home' team without another game taking place."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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