Demolition of St. Louis dome among possible options - KMOV.com

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Demolition of Edward Jones Dome among possible options

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Edward Jones Dome in downtown St. Louis (Credit: KMOV) Edward Jones Dome in downtown St. Louis (Credit: KMOV)

ST. LOUIS (AP/KMOV.com) - The St. Louis Rams are gone, and the stadium where they played might soon be a thing of the past, too.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports one option being considered for renovation of the city's convention center is tearing down the Edward Jones Dome, home to the Rams from 1995, their first year in St. Louis, through 2015.

In January, NFL owners agreed to allow Stan Kroenke to move the team to Los Angeles, leaving St. Louis without pro football.

The dome is part of the St. Louis convention center. Officials there have long cited a need to improve exhibit space, expand the center's ball room and add loading docks and other support facilities. They say the dome as currently configured fails to provide high-quality, contiguous square footage.

According to officials, the dome will not be paid off until 2021.

Officials say an increase in conventions could make up for the lost revenue from the Rams departure. But the renovation will need huge upgrades to get larger conventions. 

Kitty Ratcliffe, president of the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission, CVC, says the dome has limitations and the entire convention complex has fallen behind the times, making it hard to compete for conventions with other cities. 

In the spring of 2015, the CVC says they started exploring options for upgrades. One of the ideas is to tear down the dome and replace it with another building, better for conventions. 

"Even though it was a football stadium next to a convention center and we've been able to use it a number of groups every year, it wasn't designed as a convention center," said Ratcliffe.

The next CVC Commission meeting will be held on February 18. There will be a presentation of a study on how St. Louis falls short of what other cities have. Officials say any plan to demolish the dome would have to get city, county, and state approval first and then figure out how to pay for its replacement.

Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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