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.