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Rams Home Opener? Packed

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  • Rams Home Opener? Packed

    Rams home opener? Packed
    By Bill Coats

    Even if the economy were bullish, the Rams would be facing a bear of a challenge to fill seats at the Edward Jones Dome. The team has lost 29 of its last 34 games — including 12 in a row — and fans are increasingly unwilling to dig deep into their pockets to support it.

    Stadiums packed with energized, enthusiastic fans aren't a given in the NFL these days. League commissioner Roger Goodell recently estimated that 20 percent of this season's games could be blacked out on local television by not selling out.

    The Rams won't reach that nadir, at least for the first week. The home opener on Sunday vs. Green Bay is only a few hundred tickets away from a sellout, thanks in large part to Green Bay fans who flock to other cities to watch the Packers because they can't get tickets at home.

    The second home game, Oct. 4, vs. Minnesota, probably will fill the house, too, thanks to the presence of Vikings quarterback Brett Favre.

    "We appreciate Mr. Favre's contribution," said Kevin Demoff, the Rams executive vice president of football operations.

    After that, it's anyone's guess for the last six home games.

    Demoff declined to say how many season tickets the club has sold for the season. "We have a very solid base, but it's not where we want it to be," he said.

    As for the percentage of renewals they received, Demoff would say only that the Rams are "slightly above the league average," where renewals are down significantly. Jacksonville, for example, lost about 17,000 of its 42,000 season-ticket holders from last year.

    "And we'll have other markets that'll have those challenges," Goodell told reporters earlier this month. "Our clubs have been working hard in the offseason to create other ways to try to get people in the stadiums."

    For the Rams, that has meant not raising prices and overseeing $30 million in upgrades to the stadium, including high-tech scoreboards; new paint schemes and lighting intended to brighten the building; a large sports bar open to all; upgrades in the suite areas; and more high-end accommodations.

    "Everything we've done this year has been driven by the fans," Demoff said. "From the changes at the dome to the changes on the field to the changes in the coaching staff … all have been focused on providing a better experience on the Sundays when our fans are in the dome."

    Selling tickets wasn't always a problem. The team's first 100 games — regular season and playoffs — after moving to St. Louis from Los Angeles in 1995 were sold out. But at the end of the 2006 season, as the Rams were finishing up their third straight year without a winning record, the team failed to fill the house for a Christmas Eve contest against the Washington Redskins.

    Since then, five other games haven't sold out, almost a third of the last 16 games at the 66,000-seat dome. Corporate ticket buy-ups prevented several others from being blacked out.

    Two of the eight home games drew less-than-capacity crowds last year, when the Rams posted their worst record — 2-14 — in their 14 seasons in St. Louis. The average attendance for those two contests was 55,535.

    Rams quarterback Marc Bulger said sellouts are "a reward for playing well." The Rams reaped those benefits during their "Greatest Show on Turf" run, when the dome was regarded as one of the loudest stadiums in the NFL, as well as one of the most difficult venues for visiting teams.

    Conversely, the punishment for playing poorly is a depressed fan base, resulting in diminished ticket sales and empty seats.

    But does a filled stadium have an impact on what happens on the field? It sometimes depends who they are cheering for. When nearly 30,000 Packers fans came to the dome in 2007, many Rams players complained it was like playing in Green Bay.

    That could be the case again Sunday.

    "Whether we play away or we play at home, I tell the players just to worry about what happens between the white lines. If you have to have all the other things, then something's wrong," first-year coach Steve Spagnuolo said. "But do you get a little bit of extra juice? Yeah. That's just how it works. (The players) like to hear a little bit of support."

    Said Bulger: "You can definitely feed off the crowd."

    A sellout helps in other ways, too, because it means the games can be televised locally. NFL rules require that a game sell out 72 hours before kickoff to avoid the local blackout. "There's no better advertisement for the Rams than putting games on live TV," Demoff said.

    Yet the best seller will be if the Rams come out on top on those glitzy new scoreboards.

    "When we start winning games," Bulger said, "our fans will be back."

  • #2
    Re: Rams Home Opener? Packed mention of the CLAN being at the home opener?!

    Very disappointing...:|

    GO RAMS!!!!
    sigpic :ram::helmet:


    • #3
      Re: Rams Home Opener? Packed

      Originally posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
      Rams home opener? Packed
      By Bill Coats

      The home opener on Sunday vs. Green Bay is only a few hundred tickets away from a sellout, thanks in large part to Green Bay fans who flock to other cities to watch the Packers because they can't get tickets at home.

      But does a filled stadium have an impact on what happens on the field? It sometimes depends who they are cheering for. When nearly 30,000 Packers fans came to the dome in 2007, many Rams players complained it was like playing in Green Bay.

      That could be the case again Sunday.


      Well I hope it would be different than 07 it looks like GB may have just as many fans at the game than the rams.


      • #4
        Re: Rams Home Opener? Packed

        I think it's obvious what needs to happen: Green Bay fan beatdowns outside the Ed!

        Ok ok, I'm just kidding... or am I?;)
        I believe!:ram:


        • #5
          Re: Rams Home Opener? Packed

          Originally posted by TekeRam View Post
          I think it's obvious what needs to happen: Green Bay fan beatdowns outside the Ed!

          Ok ok, I'm just kidding... or am I?;)
          After the Rams win, I don't think I'll be able to stop the verbal beatdowns from popping out of my big mouth!

          Who could blame me though since the last time I walked out of a Rams home game with a win was October 16, 1994, a 17-10 victory over the Giants at Anaheim Stadium.


          • #6
            Re: Rams Home Opener? Packed

            "You come to Rams town, you get a beat down!'
            'You come to Rams town, you get a beat down!'
            'You come to Rams town, you get a beat down!'

            Back in 2003, the Packers fans still comprised 25% of the crowd at the game. There is even a Packers Backers club in Tulsa....

            They have quite the fan base...but they are usually pretty cool...unlike fans of a number of other teams...


            • #7
              Re: Rams Home Opener? Packed

              What a shocker our stadium has become how the old Cardinals stadium used to be. Half visiting teams fans and half Rams fans,nice.
              Aim high Willis, Aim High!


              • #8
                Re: Rams Home Opener? Packed

                How I wish ... this first game at home for 2009 would be special. No, not only because Deacon's jersey is being retired (an event which in itself should attract quite a bit of older fans), but because it would indeed represent a new era, with a new coach, with many new players. With much needed hope and encouragement.

                Come on, city of St. Louis, get in there, make NOISE and support the RAMS to this 1st 2009 WIN! :ram:


                • #9
                  Re: Rams Home Opener? Packed

                  Looks like our home games may turn into away games quickly if we can't sell tickets to rams fans. I remember watching the Rams v Bears on monday night a couple years ago and our stands were packed with bear fans. Hopefully we don't have a repeat of that throughout this year.


                  • #10
                    Re: Rams Home Opener? Packed

                    Anyone bringing a fondue pot to the game?
                    sigpic :ram::helmet:


                    • #11
                      Re: Rams Home Opener? Packed

                      I'll be there in Rams gear while my lovely bride will be with me in Packers gear. Oh the looks we got when the Pack was here last time but it was all good because Packer fans are actually pretty cool. I would know since 90% of the section we sat in were Packers fans and they were quite friendly. Rams will win the home opener and shock the NFL world.


                      Related Topics


                      • r8rh8rmike
                        Rams Try To Get Fans Off Couch, Into Dome
                        by r8rh8rmike
                        Rams try to get fans off couch, into dome

                        BY JIM THOMAS
                        Wednesday, October 13, 2010

                        Over the first four games of the season, local television ratings for the Rams were up 51 percent over 2009, the largest increase of any NFL team.

                        Even with a diminished rating in Sunday's Meltdown in Motown — a 44-6 loss in Detroit — the Rams' average rating of 24.1 is the team's highest figure through five games since Scott Linehan's first Rams squad started 4-1 in 2006.

                        (The ratings figure is the percentage of homes with a TV set in the St. Louis area watching the game.)

                        With another home game this weekend, the challenge remains translating that television interest into ticket sales at the Edward Jones Dome.

                        "How do we bridge that gap?" said Kevin Demoff, the Rams' executive vice president of football operations.

                        Demoff said between 5,000 and 7,500 tickets remain for each of the Rams' remaining five home games. Sunday's game against San Diego, the four-time defending AFC West champ, is in the 5,000 area of unsold tickets. So is the Dec. 19 contest with Show-Me State rival Kansas City.

                        The Dec. 26 contest with San Francisco is in the 7,500 area, with the Oct. 31 Carolina game and the Nov. 21 Atlanta game somewhere in between. The Carolina game features the Isaac Bruce jersey retirement ceremony, and even if that game is televised locally, Demoff points out the Bruce ceremony won't be shown on live TV. You have to be in the stands to see it.

                        The Rams used a combination of corporate sponsorship, buying up some unsold tickets themselves, and some giveaways and promotions to get the first three games of the season on local TV. Demoff said the team is hoping for a similar arrangement this week with the San Diego game.

                        "We're going to be proactive trying to get every game on TV any way we can," Demoff said.

                        With what so far has been a noticeably improved product, Detroit game notwithstanding, the Rams want to get as much exposure as possible for that product. But there's only so many times you can tap into corporate sponsors. And only so many times the Rams will buy up unsold tickets before games start getting blacked out.

                        "And it's going to be a challenge without mass ticket buying," Demoff said.

                        Group sales have picked up following the home victories against Washington and Seattle. But the needle isn't moving on single-game sales. During the preseason, when both Rams home games were blacked out, the team experienced a decent walkup crowd on game day. But that hasn't been the case during the regular season, probably because the three home games so far have been on local television.

                        "It's nobody's responsibility to fill the dome but the Rams'," Demoff said. "And I would never chastise fans for not showing...
                        -10-13-2010, 03:11 PM
                      • RamWraith
                        Rams Freeze Prices
                        by RamWraith
                        By Jim Thomas
                        ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH

                        With an eye toward the economy, as well as the team's won-loss record, the Rams are freezing prices on almost all tickets for the 2009 season.

                        "We are sensitive to our fans and the choices that they have to make for the entertainment dollar," said Bob Wallace, Rams executive vice president and general counsel. "It's clear that the economy's going through a tough stretch right now. People are having to make choices. We don't want to add to that burden, so we've decided for our loyal fans — they have been great fans — to freeze prices."

                        Wallace did say that because of some refurbishment on the lower level of the stadium bowl, there may be a price increase on "a little under 2,000 seats" in the 66,000-seat Edward Jones Dome.

                        Those 2,000 seats, which most likely will be between the 40-yard lines, are being changed to something that's more like a club seat concept, according to Wallace.

                        With the above exception, this marks the second straight season that the Rams have decided to freeze ticket prices. What's unusual about this year's news is that the team didn't even wait until the end of the season to make the policy known.

                        Last season, the price freeze wasn't made known until the beginning of February. The early notice on the 2009 price freeze could be a reflection of concern over season-ticket renewals.

                        "Obviously, it's a lot better to come off a very, very successful season than it is to come off a season that we're all disappointed in," Wallace said. "Combine that with a tough economy and, yes, we are concerned about the renewals."

                        According to Wallace, the Rams have had a season-ticket renewal rate of more than 90 percent every offseason since the franchise moved to St. Louis in 1995. But with just one game remaining this season, the Rams have lost 26 of 31 games since the start of the 2007 season. Understandably, that has led to much unrest among the fan base. The past two home games have been blacked out on local television because they did not sell out.

                        Fans who buy season tickets or renew PSLs for 2009 will see a spruced-up stadium that will have undergone $30 million worth of upgrades by the start of the preseason. Bids are still out on the refurbishment, Wallace said, so not all of the plans are finalized.

                        But at a minimum, there will be new scoreboards in both the end zones, upgrades in some of the club seat lounges, and a major paint job to help lighten up the atmosphere in the dome.

                        "I'm 99.9 percent sure that we'll have two new scoreboards that will be substantially better than what's there now," Wallace said. "In this market we use as benchmarks what the other venues have. These (new scoreboards) will be similar if not better to what's in Busch (Stadium)...
                        -12-24-2008, 04:43 AM
                      • r8rh8rmike
                        Rams Try To Bring Fans Back
                        by r8rh8rmike
                        Rams try to bring fans back

                        BY JIM THOMAS
                        ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH

                        Four seasons into the Rams move to St. Louis, the bloom had worn off the horns. In 1998, the Rams were in the midst of their fourth consecutive losing season, and the needle was pointing down. Team management and various sponsors bought up thousands of tickets to keep the team's sellout streak alive

                        Entering the 1999 season, it was nip-and-tuck to get the season opener against Baltimore televised locally. But just when things had reached a critical stage between the Rams and their fans, the gridiron miracle that was the Greatest Show on Turf rocketed the team to national prominence.

                        More than a decade later, the Rams and their fans have reached another crossroads. The team is in the midst of a 6-41 free fall, hasn't had a winning season since 2003, and blackouts are becoming more commonplace.

                        Sunday's season finale against San Francisco will be blacked out locally after falling far short of NFL sellout requirements. It's the third consecutive home game blacked out this season. Beginning with the 2006 home finale against Washington, nine of 25 regular-season home games have not made local television.

                        During the height of the Greatest Show, the Rams used to brag — privately — that they didn't advertise because they didn't have to. Those days are long gone.

                        "This organization for too long has taken fans for granted," said Kevin Demoff, the Rams' executive vice president of football operations. "Has not paid enough attention to sponsors in the community and to making sure that people were invested in the club. If people are invested in the club, winning will help.

                        "But I think it's easy to throw your hands up and say, 'Well, if the club was winning, people would go.' It's our challenge to make sure that people want to go, win or lose. They may have a better time if we win."

                        But as Demoff sees it, the idea is to get fans and sponsors "invested" to the point where they say: "This is our team. These are the Rams. Let's go down and enjoy the game-day experience."

                        Win or lose. Of course, when you lose over and over and over again, all the bells and whistles in the world won't help. There has to be at least some expectation of winning, not the hopelessness that has enveloped Rams football. And with a much less glamorous home schedule on tap in 2010, the challenge to fill seats in the Edward Jones Dome has never been greater.

                        "Great football cities, and this is a great football city, support their team through good years and bad years," Demoff said. "Now we may be pushing the brink of that with three bad years in a row.

                        "But I promise you, if we do our job, fans will show up. They're very supportive. They care deeply....
                        -01-02-2010, 11:21 PM
                      • r8rh8rmike
                        Rams vs. Seattle: Plenty Of Good Seats
                        by r8rh8rmike
                        Rams vs. Seattle: Plenty of good seats available

                        1 hour ago • By Jim Thomas

                        It’s the opening of another NFL season. And not only is a division rival coming to town, it’s the two-time defending NFC champs. As a topper, the Rams have played said team, the Seattle Seahawks, very tough at the Edward Jones Dome under coach Jeff Fisher.

                        The Rams have won two of three at home vs. the Seahawks, including last year’s Festival of Trick Plays by coach John Fassel’s special teams unit. Even in the loss, the Rams were on the Seattle 1-yard line and throwing for the win in the end zone on the game’s final play.

                        Under normal circumstances, this would be a hot ticket. Obviously, these are not normal circumstances. As the preseason showed, attendance could be down sharply this season, what with the threat of relocation to Los Angeles.

                        The fact that the team hasn’t had a winning season since 2003, and is fresh off a winless preseason, isn’t conducive to a stampede at the ticket office, either.

                        While realizing that the circumstances are, well, the circumstances, Rams executive vice president Kevin Demoff says the organization is doing what it can to sell tickets.

                        “We’re making a push,” Demoff said. “We have more marketing out and around the Seattle game than we’ve ever had before for a season opener. Season tickets are down, so we have to make up some of the sales with single-game tickets.”

                        How far down are ticket sales? Demoff said team policy is not to reveal such numbers. But the “tickets distributed” numbers for home preseason games against Indianapolis and Kansas City tell you all you need to know.

                        The numbers for those games were 37,460 for Indy and 37,616 for KC. Some of those 37,000 were giveaways, but preseason games normally generate next to nothing in terms of single-game sales.

                        The moral to the story? The Rams’ season-ticket base is at minimum below 37,000. And unless the Rams have a monumental week in terms of single-ticket stales, we’re talking about an opening-day “crowd” of maybe about 40,000 in the 66,000-seat dome. Which easily would be a low for the Rams in St. Louis for a home opener, and probably a low for pro football in St. Louis going back to the days of the football Cardinals.

                        “Preseason is usually an indicator of what your season ticket base is, because not that many people buy single-game preseason tickets,” Demoff said. “Your season tickets are not greater — they could never be greater — than what’s distributed.”

                        Since you can’t buy a season ticket without buying the preseason games, the only thing that will get home attendance above that 37,000 threshold is robust purchase of single-game tickets, multiple-game “flex” packs, or group sales.

                        “For many years, we’ve been focused on single games and group tickets, and marketing efforts...
                        -09-09-2015, 08:52 AM
                      • r8rh8rmike
                        Rams-***** Game Likely To Be Televised Here
                        by r8rh8rmike
                        Rams-***** game likely to be televised here

                        BY JIM THOMAS
                        Wednesday, December 22, 2010

                        What was the bigger long shot entering the 2010 season? The Rams being in playoff contention in Game 15 of the regular season? Or all eight home games being televised locally?

                        It looks as if both unlikely developments will converge Sunday at the Edward Jones Dome. The winner of Sunday's home finale against San Francisco will take a huge step toward the NFC West championship. And it looks like the noon contest will meet NFL sellout requirements and thus be on local TV.

                        "We're getting close," said Kevin Demoff, the Rams' executive vice president of football operations. "We have some feelers out for corporate support should we need it. We've sold a lot of tickets in the past few weeks leading up to this game, so we're pleased with that. I'm very optimistic that we'll get it on television."

                        As of Tuesday afternoon, Demoff said more than 1,000 tickets remained.

                        "It's important to try to figure out a way to get this game on," Demoff said. "Not only because it would mean we'd go without a blackout this year. But also, given the importance of this game to the playoff race, I think it's important that our fans get a chance to see it on television."

                        Fan appreciation day

                        The Rams will hold their second annual Fan Appreciation Day at Sunday's Rams-***** contest. Demoff said hot dogs, soda and all merchandise — jerseys included — will be half price.

                        "There will be contests and prizes throughout the game," he said. "We'll give away jerseys to loyal fans. It should be a great game-day atmosphere at the Edward Jones Dome. Not only is it Fan Appreciation Day, it's obviously a very important game to finish off the regular season at home."

                        Chiefs fans

                        Demoff said the spike in San Francisco ticket sales in recent weeks shows that fans are interested in attending games. And unlike the Kansas City game, these sales are to Rams fans, Demoff said.

                        Although there's no way to track an exact number, Demoff estimated there were 6,000 to 7,000 Chiefs fans in the stands for Kansas City's 27-13 victory. Other observers thought it looked like several thousand more than that.

                        "I thought our fans were passionate and loud on Sunday," Demoff said. "They have been. You always want to see 66,000 Rams fans in the building. That's organizational utopia, but it doesn't always work out that way."
                        -12-22-2010, 03:15 PM