St. Louis Officials Crafting Plan For Improvements To Edward Jones Dome
St. Louis civic and political leaders are "trying to craft a plan for revamping the Edward Jones Dome, with just three weeks left before they must send" the Rams a proposal, according to Matthew Hathaway of the ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH. The Rams' lease "gives the team an escape clause if the Dome isn't a 'first tier' football stadium by 2015." Negotiations are "supposed to unfold this year, with a series of upcoming deadlines that start next month." If the two sides "can't reach a deal, the lease eventually could be declared void." According to the lease, "after the 2014 season, the Rams would be free to leave, or could rent the Dome on a season-to-season basis." The "'first tier' clause -- along with the effort to bring pro football back to Los Angeles -- has created a climate of uncertainty about the Rams' future." By Feb. 1, the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission, which "owns the Dome, must give the Rams a proposal for improving the stadium, including a financing plan." The proposal is "supposed to be one that the CVC 'reasonably believes' would put the Dome in the top quarter of all stadiums" in the NFL. CVC execs have been "meeting behind closed doors with officials from St. Louis and St. Louis County to hammer out the proposal." The team's lease "calls for the Rams to stay in town through 2025 but only if the Dome is judged to be 'first tier' at two points: in the 10th year of the lease, in 2005, and again by its 20th year, 2015" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 1/10).