Marcio Jose Sanchez-AP

Marcio Jose Sanchez-AP



If you were making plans to travel to China to watch the San Francisco 49ers play the Los Angeles Rams in 2018, you may want to rethink the trip. There had been "buzz" that the 49ers would be scheduled to play the Rams in China next year. A report by the Sporting News states that the NFL is no longer trying to get a 2018 game in China done and will now refocus its efforts on playing a regular season game there in 2019, which will coincide with the 100th anniversary of the league.

While there have been stumbling blocks to getting a 2018 regular season game set up in China, the chances of it happening became unlikely but had never completely deminished. It is unknown if a possible China game in 2019 will feature the Rams, 49ers, or two completely different NFL teams.

News of the game originally surfaced in July of 2016 when the Sports Business Daily first reported that a 2018 regular season game in China between the 49ers and Rams was planned. The contest would have reportedly replaced a home game for the Rams.

The Rams, who returned to Los Angeles in 2016, are playing their home games at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum until their new stadium in neighboring Inglewood is complete. They agreed to give up one home game during each of their first three seasons in Southern California to play overseas. In 2016, the Rams lost 17-10 to the New York Giants at Twickenham Stadium in London. This year, they will face the Arizona Cardinals in London on October 22nd.

Playing a game in China has some logistics that become an issue for the traveling teams and viewers. The flight from the West Coast to China is about 13 hours and the time difference is 15 hours (12 hours for the East Coast). Players would need sufficient time to adjust to their new timezone and scheduling the game so both China and United States fans can watch might be difficult.

The 49ers' last matchup overseas was a 2013 game in London. Their opponent was the Jacksonville Jaguars, who San Francisco beat 42-10.