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February 02, 2012
St. Louis unveils plan for Rams to keep up with Joneses
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.
Someone needs to make a documentary that completely exposes these charlatans. Put the math on paper so the brain-dead sports fans can at least see why building billion dollar football stadiums with public money doesn't pay off.
Who holds the film rights to your book, Neil? Opportunity may be knocking, if Roger is correct.
As to the Rams, I'd like to hear from someone in St.Louis whether they actually want to keep them.
Stl has long been thought of mainly as a baseball town with every other sport an afterthought. Maybe it's just time to let them fly off to greener/brighter pastures... as some have noted, barring a couple of years they've completely sucked anyway.
Does anyone think that those coming up with the $124m plan to hang a 15 ton video screen from the roof actually talked to engineers about it first?
Joanna and I retain film rights, and we will entertain all offers. So long as they have Brad Pitt playing me, of course.
I wouldn't be too mad at the Rams in this case. No one forced the city to come up with what is arguably the worse lease ever for a major sports team.
Jerry Jones should be pining for a new stadium sometime soon. In five years, the new Cowboy Stadium will be outdated somehow. New New Cowboy Stadium will have to cost $2 billion, or he will move to Anchorage, Alaska, or Flint, Michigan. It will all be taxpayer funded, somehow.
Roger, no such film could ever get shown in the towns where it needs to play.
For instance, a documentary on Indianapolis would be an excellent thing to make. And an obvious place to play it would be in my home town, Sacramento.
Good luck getting any screen to show it more than once. The local developer would probably sue to stop it -- Brad Pitt or not.
Did you guys see the horrible cheerleadery article for stadiums in the Atlantic?
It was like "Indianapolis has spent a ton of money sprucing various things up. Thanks Super Bowl."
I dropped by Atlantic subscription a few years back. I think the quality had gone down (I really respected James Fallows though).
I'm a Harper's guy for the past 30 years. They get a lot correct in their reports. They called the mortgage collapse in 2006. They had an cover piece in 1989 about the relentless overselling of pro-sports that I need to lookup online to re-read.