Rams' Proposal to Upgrade Dome Rejected - The Missourian: Sports

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Rams' Proposal to Upgrade Dome Rejected

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Posted: Friday, June 1, 2012 10:10 am | Updated: 12:43 pm, Fri Jun 1, 2012.

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The agency that operates the Edward Jones Dome on Friday rejected an improvement plan for the 17-year-old stadium proposed by the St. Louis Rams.

The St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission said in a brief statement that it believes it is in "the best interest of the community and the Rams to engage in meaningful dialogue over the next two weeks, and looks forward to the opportunity to do so at the earliest convenience of Rams management."

Arbitration begins if no agreement is reached by June 15, and the arbitration process could last through the end of the year.

"The public has now seen both proposals," said Jeff Rainford, chief of staff for St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay. "The two are dramatically different. We're probably headed where everybody thought all along, to arbitration."

A Rams spokeswoman declined comment.

Under the terms of the 30-year lease between the commission and the Rams, the dome must be among the top quarter of all 31 NFL stadiums before the start of the 2015 season. If not, the team can break the lease and potentially become the second NFL team to leave St. Louis in a quarter of a century.

Neither side has provided specifics of how the worthiness of the stadium upgrade will be assessed, but Rainford has said that the commission must simply prove the dome is top tier in each of several different categories. While some are subjective, others are not, including the size of the scoreboard.

The dome, which opened in 1995 after the team relocated from Los Angeles, was built with money from city, St. Louis County and Missouri taxpayers.

The commission's rejection was not unexpected given the wide discrepancy between the Rams' plan and one submitted by it in February. That plan called for $124 million in improvements such as a bigger scoreboard and better club seating. It also would have required the Rams to pay 52 percent of the cost. Taxpayers would have to approve funding for the remaining 48 percent.

The Rams' counterproposal submitted May 1 was far more elaborate, calling for a new roof with a sliding panel, replacing much of the brick exterior with a glass front, even re-routing a nearby street.

The Rams did not provide a cost estimate but Rainford said the plan would cost about $700 million and the dome, which also hosts conventions, would have to be closed for renovation for up to three years, potentially costing the city $500 million in convention revenue.

The Rams did not intend for their proposal to be publicly released. Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster released it against the team's wishes on May 14 following open records requests from media, including The Associated Press, which contended that since taxpayers are paying $720 million over 30 years to fund the dome, records related to it should be open.

Owner Stan Kroenke has been non-committal about the team's future if the dome isn't improved. He is a Missouri native who became minority owner when Georgia Frontiere brought the Rams to her hometown of St. Louis.

But Kroenke owns an estate in Malibu, Calif., and unsuccessfully sought to purchase baseball's Dodgers, leading to speculation that the Rams could head west after the 2014 season without a significant dome upgrade.

St. Louis has been through this before. The football Cardinals moved to Arizona after the 1987 season when owner Bill Bidwill was unable to get a stadium of his own. The football and baseball Cardinals shared old Busch Stadium.

© 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Area Scoreboard

Boys Basketball

Monday, Jan. 26

^Rock Bridge 79, Northwest 27

^Lutheran South 76, Hillsboro 43

Owensville 41, Hermann 40

St. James 80, Montgomery County 39

Tuesday, Jan. 27

Jackson 65, Pacific 44

^Borgia 82,  Union 61

~Warrenton 69, Chamois 24

^Washington 49, St. Clair 45 (OT)

~Wright City 51, New Haven 37

*Bethel at Crosspoint    7:45 p.m.

Wednesday, Jan. 28

Fulton SA at Thomas Jefferson    6:30 p.m.

Thursday, Jan. 29

^Northwest vs. Hillsboro   5:30 p.m.

~Chamois vs. New Haven    6 p.m.

~Warrenton vs. Wright City    6 p.m.

^Union vs. St. Clair    7 p.m.

~Hermann vs. Montgomery Co    7:30 p.m.

~Owensville vs. St. James    7:30 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 30

^Rock Bridge vs. Lutheran South    5:30 p.m.

^Borgia vs. Washington    7 p.m.

*Providence at Crosspoint    7:30 p.m.

Eagle Ridge at Fulton SA    7:30 p.m.

Saturday, Jan. 31

^Seventh-place game    2:30 p.m.

~Seventh-place game    2:30 p.m.

^Consolation    4 p.m.

~Consolation    4 p.m.

^Third-place game    5:30 p.m.

~Third-place game    5:30 p.m.

^Championship    7 p.m.

~Championship    7 p.m.

%Washington Tournament

#South Callaway Tournament

^Union Tournament

~Hermann Tournament

Girls Basketball

Monday, Jan. 26

^Holt 60, Pacific 57

^Warrenton 42, Union 40

~Owensville 64,  Montgomery Co 32

Borgia 62, Cardinal Ritter 41

^St. Clair 64, Lutheran South 45

~Hermann 57, Wright City 26

Washington 74, Wentzville Liberty 19

Tuesday, Jan. 27

Fulton SA at Barat    4:30 p.m.

~New Haven 42, Montgomery Co 34

*Bethel at Crosspoint    6:15 p.m.

~Chamois 61, Wright City 20

Wednesday, Jan. 28

^Pacific vs. Union    4 p.m.

Fulton SA at Thomas Jefferson    5 p.m.

^Wentzvillr Liberty vs. Lutheran South     5:30 p.m.

~Owensville vs. New Haven    6 p.m.

^Holt vs. Warrenton    7 p.m.

~Hermann vs. Chamois    7:30 p.m.

^Washington vs. St. Clair    8:30 p.m.

Thursday, Jan. 29

*Borgia at Notre Dame    6:45 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 30

^Seventh-place game    4 p.m.

~Consolation    5 p.m.

^Consolation    5:30 p.m.

*Providence at Crosspoint    6 p.m.

Eagle Ridge at Fulton SA    6 p.m.

~Third-place game    6:30 p.m.

^Third-place game    7 p.m.

~Championship    8 p.m.

^Championship    8:30 p.m.

@Union Tournament

#South Callaway Tournament

^Washington Tournament

~Hermann Tournament

Wrestling

Tuesday, Jan. 27

*Pacific 42, St. Clair 33

Borgia 36, Hallsville 30

Helias 66, Borgia 21

Wednesday, Jan. 28

Borgia at Lutheran St. Charles    5 p.m.

Thursday, Jan. 29

Union at Farmington/Summit    5 p.m.

*Pacific at St. James/Owensville    5:30 p.m.

Washington at Seckman    6 p.m.

St. Clair at De Soto    TBA

Friday, Jan. 30

St. Clair at Potosi/Festus    5 p.m.

Saturday, Jan. 31

Pacific at Hazelwood East Tny    9 a.m.

Girls Swimming

Tuesday, Jan. 20

Timberland 140, Washington 96, Ft. Zumwalt East 87

Thursday, Jan. 22

Oakville 120, Washington 115, University City 9, Mehlville 6

Saturday, Jan. 24

Washington 91, Borgia 80

Tuesday, Jan. 27

Washington 122, St. Charles West 46

Thursday, Jan. 29

Washington at Affton/Lutheran South    4:15 p.m.

Borgia at St. Dominic    8:30 p.m.

*Conference Games

COLLEGE FOOTBALL BOWL