Over the weekend there were many proposals and discussions at the owners meeting. Whether it’s changing the onside kick rules to 4th & 15, or the Kansas City Chiefs proposing that each team gets a possession in overtime. Don’t expect many of these to gain much traction. There is one proposal that has been in the works for a couple years now.
Back in 2016, the San Francisco 49ers were supposed to host the Los Angeles Rams in China in 2018. That fell through. A year later, it was reported that the idea would be delayed at least until 2019. We’ve got some new information regarding the game, according to Matt Barrows of the Athletic.
As it stands now, according to team officials, the loose plan would be for the game to be played at the start of the 2020 season, perhaps to kick off the season in the same fashion as the A’s and Mariners recent Major League Baseball season-opening series in Tokyo.
The Niners would give up a home game if they were to host the Rams. Barrows also mentions that the Rams and 49ers are the two teams that have shown the most interest to play in Beijing. Here’s John Lynch on the idea of playing in China:
“As a football guy, you’re usually pretty protective. Like, ‘Hey, let’s make sure this is good for our team,’” general manager John Lynch said Monday of the prospect of playing in China. “I think one thing we feel comfortable with is that (CEO) Jed (York) and (team president) Al (Guido) always keep that in mind, so we’re not going to do anything that’s going to put us at a disadvantage. But if we can grow the game and also have a cool experience we’ll make it work.”
There are a few things to discuss here. Knowing that the practice facilities are up to the quality that the team needs is important. Team officials have made several trips to Beijing and Shanghai in the last year to scout facilities, per Barrows. Finding out the best possible place for the game to be played is a big factor as well.
This will continue to be a topic of discussion at the owners meetings, but a final decision likely won’t be made for several months. How would you feel about giving up a home game? Is the exposure for the franchise worth it?