St. Louis Rams Stadium Proposal Rejected, Negotiations With City Agency To Follow

The St. Louis Rams' plans for the renovation of the Edward Jones Dome were revealed on Monday. What happens next in negotiations over the facility?

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St. Louis Rams, CVC Will Go To Arbitration Over Dome Renovation Plans

The St. Louis Rams and the city Convention and Visitors Commission (CVC) will head to arbitration to try to resolve their competing visions for renovations to the Edward Jones Dome. On Thursday, the CVC needed fewer than 30 minutes to vote to go to arbitration, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

According to the team's lease on the facility, the Dome must be considered among the "first tier" of NFL stadiums by 2015. If it is not, the Rams can opt out of their lease, which binds them through 2025. This spring, the CVC presented the Rams with a $124 million plan to spruce up the Dome. The Rams rejected that proposal and countered with their own plan, estimated to cost around $700 million.

The two sides had until June 15 to negotiate a deal before sending the matter to arbitration. With a difference of nearly $600 million, the factions had a considerable gap to bridge, and it was widely expected that the matter would go to arbitration.

A panel of three arbitrators will hear each side's case. The panel can rule in favor of one side or the other, but a more likely outcome would be a reconciled vision for the Dome, meeting each side somewhere between their $124 million and $700 million price points.

The deadline for arbitration is the end of 2012. Following that, the CVC has 60 days to decide whether to accept the arbitrators' plan. If the city bureau accepts it, the Rams would be locked into their lease for the full term. Any plan bridging the gap would likely require more public dollars than now go to the Dome. City officials have said in the past that any increases in public revenue would require public approval.

For more on the Rams and the Dome negotiations, visit Turf Show Times.

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St. Louis Rams' $700 Million Dome Plan Rejected, Launches Negotiations

The St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission rejected an estimated $700 million counterproposal from the St. Louis Rams for renovations to the Edward Jones Dome. The move was widely expected. It opens a two-week window for the two sides to negotiate renovations to the facility.

The CVC released a statement with its rejection of the Rams' proposal.

"[The CVC] believes that 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."

The Rams' lease contains a vague requirement stipulating that the Dome be considered a "first tier" facility among all NFL stadiums by 2015. If the Dome does not meet the "first tier" requirement by 2015, the Rams are freed from their lease.

Negotiations over renovation plans can go through June 15. At that point, the matter goes to arbitration, which can run through the end of the current year. Arbitration is non-binding save for one slight bit of leverage granted to the CVC under the terms of the lease. If the CVC agrees to a plan worked out by the arbitrator, it would lock the Rams into their lease through 2025.

The CVC presented a $124 million renovation plan to the Rams earlier in the year that the team rejected.

Staff from Mayor Francis Slay's office urged rejection of the Rams' plan, citing the $700 million price tag as well as the potential of lost convention business during construction.

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St. Louis Rams' Dome Renovation Plan Estimated To Cost $700 Million, Mayor Urges City To Reject Proposal

The St. Louis Rams' counter proposal for renovations to the Edward Jones Dome in downtown St. Louis were revealed on Monday. Hours after the Missouri Attorney General released the team's plan, cost estimates ranging from $500 million to $750 million surfaced. St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay called for the city's Convention and Visitors Commission to reject the plan, as reported by the Associated Press.

Jeff Rainford, the mayor's chief of staff, warned that the price tag for the Rams' proposal was too much for city and state taxpayers to bear. No breakdown of how the Rams' plan would be paid for was presented.

On top of the cost to the public for paying for stadium renovations, Rainford warned of the hidden costs of closing the facility to conventions during the construction phase. The mayor's aide said that the Rams' plan could potentially close the Dome to convention business for up to three years at an estimated cost of some $500 million.

Nevertheless, the mayor's office was quick to point out that the city was not giving up on working out a deal with the Rams.

Via the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

"This region paid a pretty penny to bring the Rams here," Rainford said. "We're not going to give up on keeping the Rams in the Dome."

The current version of the Edward Jones Dome was built in 1995 at a cost of $256 million, mostly through bonds. Repayment of the 30-year debt totals $720 million. The State of Missouri pays $12 million annually toward that cost along with $6 million apiece from St. Louis city and county.

The Rams' lease on the Dome includes an clause that allows the team out of its lease in March 2015 if the facility does not meet "first tier" requirements. The definition of those "first tier" requirements is vague and the subject of negotiations between the Rams and the CVC.

If the Rams and the CVC cannot agree on a plan by June 15, the matter goes to arbitration, with a non-binding decision due by the end of the year.

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St. Louis Rams Stadium Proposal Revealed

The St. Louis Rams' plans for the renovation of the Edward Jones Dome were revealed on Monday. What happens next in negotiations over the facility?

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