SBD/November 6, 2012/Facilities

Arbitration Hearing For Rams' Stadium Lease Reportedly Scheduled For January

The arbitration hearing on the Rams' "stadium lease issue is scheduled to begin" Jan. 14, according to sources cited by Jim Thomas of the ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH. Once the hearing is completed, it "could take two weeks or two months to get a ruling from the arbitrators." The American Arbitration Association "provided a list of 13 arbitrators" for the Rams and the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission to consider. Each side "got to strike five arbitrators alternately until only three names remained." The "three 'survivors' will decide what needs to be done in order for the CVC to meet the first-tier requirements called for in the stadium lease." Although both sides are "operating under a confidentiality agreement, sources have indicated there already has been a lot of activity leading up to January in terms [of] information gathering, procedural issues, public depositions, expert opinions -- a process paralleling the discovery process in a trial." Under the lease's "first-tier" standards, the Edward Jones Dome "must be considered among the top eight facilities" in the NFL. If not, the Rams are "free to break the lease and move" following the '14 season. League sources said that it is "very likely that the arbitrators will rule in favor of the Rams' plan rather than the CVC's" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 11/6).
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