The St. Louis Rams’ stadium issues have finally been resolved, sort of. After a disagreement over what exactly constituted a sufficiently upgraded stadium was forced into arbitration earlier this year, the two sides took to the courts with their legal teams assembled. The Rams emerged on the winning side of the argument in the eyes of the justice system, and now they have been reimbursed for the resulting $2 million in legal fees as well.
The St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission (CVC) presented a plan at the time of the arbitration process that would cost $124 million to upgrade the Edward Jones Dome. A $700 million renovation plan from the Rams countered the CVC, and it was deemed the only viable solution to meet the terms of the current lease which stipulates that allows the agreement to become year-to-year if the building isn’t in the top 25 percent of stadiums in the league.
In short, the Rams can opt out of the lease now as of March 2015 if the CVC does not implement their plan to upgrade the current facility. It seems very unlikely after the legal battle that the CVC staged that they have any plans to take the required action to make the building viable. That means that the Rams could be playing football somewhere else as early as the 2015 league year.
Owner Stan Kroenke’s connections to the city of Los Angeles will certainly revitalize those murmurs of the Rams making the trek back to California 20 years after leaving the state for the nation’s heartland. There’s no denying the fact that the league would love to have at least one team back in L.A. by the 2015. AEG founder Phil Anschutz has decided to continue his plans to build a stadium in downtown Los Angeles, and this only further hints at the possibility of at least one NFL franchise making the move to L.A.
As of right now all we know for sure is that the Rams are $2 million richer, and the two sides don’t appear willing to compromise much. This standoff could get uglier before it gets resolved which isn’t a good thing at all for the people of St. Louis.