The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has been reporting extensively on the negotiations between the St. Louis Rams and city leaders over the state of the home field, the Edward Jones Dome.
The Rams' lease calls for the team to play in a "top-tier" stadium. The team says the Dome is no longer in that category and has been renegotiating that lease in order to get the upgrades it says it must have to stay put.
The newspaper reported that arbitration is underway over the issue, with the three arbitrators preparing to decide on a plan by the Convention and Visitors' Bureau, the Rams, or some option they come up with themselves.
Meanwhile, the newspaper also reports that there are attractive locations in the St. Louis suburbs where a new, roomy home field could be constructed—sites including the former Chrysler plant in Fenton and land along Highway 141 in Maryland Heights.
The Rams’ proposal for the Dome calls for tearing down half the building, extending its footprint across Broadway and adding a large glass wall. It would add a playing-field-sized sliding roof and reconfigured seating.
The CVC’s proposal suggests a new glass addition, outdoor terraces, renovated suites and new club seats and lounges. The two-sided, center-hung scoreboard would become four-sided. The CVC wants the Rams to kick in half of the cost.
If the arbitrators rule in the CVC’s favor, the public expense could be covered by raising taxes on game day revenue, such as tickets or parking. If more tax dollars are needed, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay and County Executive Charlie Dooley have said they would push for a public vote.
Post-Dispatch columnist Bernie Miklasz says there's a lot of heat and little fire: he thinks the team is ultimately going to stay put for awhile and will get assurances that a new open-air stadium will be built.
Should the Rams get a big infusion of investment from the public into the Dome? Should the team move elsewhere? Why or why not?