ST. LOUIS—Arbitrators have sided with the St. Louis Rams in its dispute with the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission over proposals to renovate the Edward Jones Dome.
The arbitrators determined that due to several deficiencies in the size and dimensions of the dome, only the Rams’ plan for rebuilding it could bring the dome up to top-tier status among the other 31 NFL stadiums. Under the leasing agreement, a top-tier stadium is defined as being among the top 25 percent.
“Under the terms of the Lease, the CVC will shortly determine, after consultation with its public partners, whether to notify the Rams that it will or will not commence the improvements called for by the Arbitrators decision,” said CVC attorney Greg Smith.
Smith said it is unlikely the CVC will go along with the Rams’ proposal, which the agency thinks could cost more than $750 million.
That means the Rams lease will probably be converted to a year-to-year lease on March 15.
“The Rams decision with regard to its plans beyond that date is of course up to them,” said Smith.
In May, the Rams proposed a $700 million project to renovate the dome.
As expected, the commission rejected the proposal due to the wide discrepancy between the Rams’ plan and one submitted by it in February, 2012. That plan called for $124 million in improvements, such as a bigger scoreboard and better club seating. It also would have required the Rams to pay 52 percent of the cost. Taxpayers would have to approve funding for the remaining 48 percent.
The Rams’ counterproposal submitted May 1 was far more elaborate, calling for a new roof with a sliding panel, replacing much of the brick exterior with a glass front, even re-routing Broadway.
In August, the CVC proposed a more elaborate plan that its orginal proposal in February, though it was though to be less expensive than what the Rams proposed in May.
The Rams have declined comment throughout the process.