Officials don't want to see the St. Louis Rams leave the City of St. Louis. It has been both rumored and feared for a few months now that the Rams were planning on leaving St. Louis for the new NFL stadium, which is being built in Los Angeles.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch is reporting that the St. Louis Convention and Visitor Commission delivered a plan to a St. Louis Rams, which gives details of improvements officials argue would make the stadium ONE OF THE BEST in pro football.
If accepted, by the Rams, the Convention and Visitor Commission would have to put up $124 million, which would go to hanging a 96-foot wide and a 26-foot high scoreboard over midfield. Also, they would build a three-story structure on Baer Plaza that would connect to the Edwards Jones Dome. It would include a 20,000 square-foot lobby, rooftop beer garden, and a new entrance for fans who're heading into the dome.
They will also install glazed window panels that would allow natural light inside the Edwards Jones Dome, as fans/critics have complained that it's too dark inside the dome.
The plan would replace 1,800 existing seats and four suites with 1,500 new club seats. They would also replace the outdoor smoking area with a fan tailgate area, minus the cars.
With the plan, the Rams would fund 52% of the improvements, the average contribution by NFL teams in recent new NFL stadiums construction and renovation projects. The plan doesn't identify where the rest of the money would come from to fund the project, but it's said that the agency would likely turn to the dome's owner, the St. Louis Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority, or the third so-called government sponsor, who paid to have the dome build.
The St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission unveiled a plan Wednesday that calls for $124 million in improvements to the Edward Jones Dome in hopes of making sure the city doesn't lose another NFL team.
The commission had faced a Wednesday deadline to deliver the plan to the St. Louis Rams, which leases the dome.
The lease requires the dome to be ''first tier,'' or among the top 25 percent of all NFL stadiums in several categories. If not, the Rams can break the lease after the 2014 season and potentially move. Owner Stan Kroenke is a Missouri native, but has been non-committal about staying in St. Louis.
With Los Angeles organizers actively seeking a team, St. Louis fans are worried the Rams might leave, just like the Cardinals did after the 1987 season.
''There are a lot of people who say this can't be like Jerry Jones' Cowboys Stadium,'' CVC director Kathleen Ratcliffe said. ''We're confident this proposal meets the requirement of first tier.''
Messages left with a spokesman for Kroenke were not returned. The Rams confirmed they had received the proposal.
''The lease provides certain terms, a timeline and a process for this matter,'' said Kevin Demoff, the team's executive vice president of football operations and COO. ''We are reviewing the proposal and look forward to responding accordingly.''
Highlights of the plan include:
• Adding a 96-foot-long, 27-foot-tall scoreboard over the center of the field, nearly as large as the one at Cowboys Stadium in Texas.
• Adding 1,500 club seats, along with new club lounges.
• New windows along the length of the field on both sides, creating more natural light.
• Adding a 50,000-square-foot attached building that would include a ''Geek Suite'' area for electronics buffs and fantasy football fanciers.
• Developing a massive courtyard between the dome and the adjoining convention center that would be ''almost like tailgating but without the cars,'' Ratcliffe said.
• Improvements to concessions and concourses.