The St. Louis Rams rejected the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission's $124 million to renovate the Edward Jones Dome. The CVC announced the Rams' decision in a Thursday morning statement to the media. The team will submit its own proposal for renovations to the Dome by May 1.
If the two sides cannot agree on a renovation plan by June 15, the matter goes to arbitration.
The purpose of the negotiations is to devise a plan to meet vague "first tier" requirements in the Rams' lease on the Dome. According to the lease, the Dome must be among the top quarter of facilities in league by 2015, or on its way toward that goal. If it does not meet that requirement, the Rams are free to leave as of March 2015.
The CVC presented its proposal for Dome renovations on Feb. 1. That plan calls for $124 million in upgrades, including additional premium seating, improved fan areas in and around the Dome, a 96-foot video score board and other improvements. The additional premium seating could provide the Rams roughly $2.6 million per season in additional revenue, but it would still leave the team among the league's lowest earners when it comes to premium seating revenue.
As far as paying for the plan, the CVC's plan put the Rams on the hook for approximately $64 million.
The CVC statement did not indicate whether the Rams provided any feedback on the initial proposal.
Publicly, the Rams continue to indicate a desire to keep the team in St. Louis, as does the NFL. Competing stadium proposals in Los Angeles have exacerbated local fears about a potential relocation if the lease situation is not resolved.
Negotiations are taking place while Stan Kroenke is one of seven bidders attempting to purchase the Los Angeles Dodgers. If Kroenke were to purchase the Dodgers, he would be in violation of the NFL's cross-ownership rules when, and if, professional football returns to L.A. His interest in the Dodgers has fueled further speculation about the Rams' future.
For more on the St. Louis Rams and the Dome lease negotiations, visit Turf Show Times, SB Nation's Rams blog.