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.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Baseball

Thursday, April 17

*Union 11, Owensville 1

*New Haven 5, St. Clair 4

*Pacific 5, St. James 4

Saturday, April 19

Washington 5, Union 1

Monday, April 21

Lutheran SC 3, Borgia 0

*Pacific 6, St. Clair 5

Tuesday, April 22

*Washington 9, Ft. Zumwalt North 8

Wednesday, April 23

*Washington at FZN    4:30 p.m.

Trinity at Borgia    4:30 p.m.

Union at Farmington    4:30 p.m.

Thursday, April 24

*Hermann at Pacific    4:30 p.m.

*Owensville at St. Clair    4:30 p.m.

Friday, April 25

*Duchesne at Borgia    4:30 p.m.

Washington at Winfield    4:30 p.m.

*Union vs. Sullivan (GCS Ballpark)    5 p.m.

Saturday, April 26

Washington at Kirkwood    10 a.m.

St. Clair at Farmington    10 a.m.

*Borgia at St. Mary’s    noon

St. Clair vs. Oakville (at Farmington)    12:30 p.m.

Girls Soccer

Thursday, April 17

*Washington 2, Ft. Zumwalt S 1 (PKs)

Union 10, North County 0

St. Clair 3, Maplewood 1 (Hillsboro Tny)

Friday, April 18

Washington 2, Sullivan 1

Ritenour 2, St. Clair 0 (Hillsboro Tny)

Saturday, April 19

Cape Girardeau Central 3, St. Clair 2 (Hillsboro Tny)

Monday, April 21

*Holt 2, Washington 0

*Pacific 10, St. James 0

Borgia 3, Lutheran SC 2 (OT)

Tuesday, April 22

Hillsboro 1, St. Clair 0

*Washington 3, Ft. Zumwalt East 2

*Union 2, Sullivan 0

*Owensville 3, Pacific 2

Wednesday, April 23

Union at Incarnate Word    4 p.m.

Trinity at Borgia    4:30 p.m.

Thursday, April 24

St. Clair at Northwest    4 p.m.

De Soto at Pacific    5 p.m.

Friday, April 25

*Duchesne at Borgia    4:30 p.m.

*Washington at FZN    5 p.m.

Golf

Monday, April 21

Warrenton 155, Washington 157 (Medalist-War E. Luecke 32)

Tuesday, April 22

St. James Tny    8 a.m.

Borgia at AAA Tny    1 p.m.

Thursday, April 24

*Borgia at St. Mary’s 3:30 p.m.

*Union at Pacific    4 p.m.

*St. Clair at Owensville    4 p.m.

Track and Field

Tuesday, April 22

Washington Nix Relays (Timberland won both divisions)

Friday, April 25

Owensville Inv    4 p.m.

Pacific at De Soto    4 p.m.

Potosi Inv    4 p.m

Union at Cape Central Relays    TBA

Saturday, April 26

Washington at Ladue    9 a.m.

Union at Cape Central Relays    TBA

Boys Volleyball

Wednesday, April 23

North Tech at Borgia    4:30 p.m.

Thursday, April 24

Bayless at Borgia    5 p.m.

College Softball

Monday, April 21

*ECC at St. Louis (Split-St. Louis won first game, 6-5, ECC won second game in eight innings, 9-8)

Wednesday, April 23

*Three Rivers at ECC, 2 p.m.

Friday, April 25

ECC at Region 16 Tournament, TBA

*Conference Games

NCAA Men's Basketball News