Yesterday was the deadline in St. Louis’ lease with the Rams for the city to come up with a plan for keeping the Edward Jones Dome “top tier,” and the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission complied, issuing a $124 million proposal that would include: a giant field-spanning scoreboard like Jerry Jones’ Dallas Cowboys have; 1,500 new club seats; and a new courtyard next to the dome that would be “almost like tailgating but without the cars,” in the words of commission director Kathleen Ratcliffe.
The city would pay for $60 million of the upgrades, with the Rams footing the other $64 million. That’s not likely what Rams owner Stan Kroenke was hoping for — in the famous words of Jerry Reinsdorf, “three-thirds/no-thirds is more of what we had in mind” — but if it boosts the Rams’ revenue by even a few million dollars a year, it’d be a reasonable investment for the team. Of course, that only matters if Kroenke is thinking in terms of investments, and not “What can I extract from the city via this ridiculous lease that they signed?”
The Associated Press reports that Kroenke now has until March 1 to either accept or reject the offer or make a counterproposal; if no agreement is reached by June 15, the matter goes to arbitration (the AP doesn’t say whether it’s binding arbitration or not). St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay also promised in a blog post that “new local public dollars spent to make the facility ‘top tier’ will be subject to the prior vote of the people. If the CVC gets an agreement with the Rams, YOU will get the final say.” Which is good, since it’s the law and all.