Now that the NFL Draft talk has mellowed a bit, the St. Louis Rams franchise has turned its attention to the ongoing saga involving their current stadium and possibly their future home. After declining the original overhaul plans submitted by the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission (CVC), the Rams had a deadline to submit a counterproposal to the CVC and fulfilled that task on Tuesday.
The Rams are in the position to break their lease with the Edward Jones Dome following the 2014 season should the stadium not be up to their standards. The plan that the team rejected from the CVC earlier this year included $124 million in improvements consisting of an enormous 96-foot long scoreboard, new club seats, windows to provide natural lighting for a relatively dark stadium, and a 50,000-square-foot attachment with a suite for electronics enthusiasts and fantasy football players.
Even though the Rams gave no specifics as to why they rejected the original plan, it would seem that the price tag had something to do with it. The initial proposal said that the team would pay 52 percent of the cost, or about $64.5 million while the taxpayers of St. Louis and surrounding counties would foot the remaining $60 million.
While the stalemate remains under the current lease, the two sides have until June 15 to reach an agreement before the arbitration process would kick off.
The city of St. Louis has lost a football franchise in a similar fashion before as the Cardinals left in 1987 over stadium issues when their owner Bill Bidwell moved the team to Arizona. The current facility must be amongst the league’s top eight stadiums for the Rams to stay and that renovation will carrying quite a price tag.
There is still plenty of news to come on this front, but for the people of St. Louis, professional football may not be long for their city.