ST. LOUIS—Arbitration over the future of the St. Louis Rams began Monday, pitting the Rams, who want a much-improved football stadium, against the agency that runs the Edward Jones Dome, which wants a renewed lease.
The St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission, which runs the dome, and the Rams are at odds over bringing the dome up to top-tier status among the 31 NFL stadiums. Otherwise, the Rams could break their lease and potentially move after the 2014 season.
In May, the Rams proposed a $700 million project to renovate the dome.
The commission’s rejection was not unexpected given the wide discrepancy between the Rams’ plan and one submitted by it in February. 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 a nearby street.
Kathleen Ratcliffe, president of the CVC has said the CVC thinks it’s important to have an NFL team in St. Louis and wants it to be the Rams.
The Rams declined comment.