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St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission to propose plans for Edward Jones Dome

9:17 PM, Jan 31, 2012   |    comments
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By Casey Nolen

St. Louis (KSDK) - On Tuesday, the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission will deliver a proposal to the St. Louis Rams detailing a plan it hopes will keep the team in town beyond 2015.

It all hinges on improvements to the Edward Jones Dome and, likely, a lot of compromise.

The Rams have a lease with the CVC that says if the Dome isn't one of the best in the NFL, they can leave town. This is a status many think the Dome will never reach, but the CVC says, it has a plan to keep the Rams.

When the Los Angeles Rams moved to St. Louis in 1995, they shared a place with the Cardinals until the city could finish their new home.

And when regional leaders huddled around the room in '95, they decided to give the Rams a lease that guaranteed the Edward Jones Dome would remain in the top tier of NFL stadiums, or the team was free to go.

But that once new home now seems old to some, compared to the more palatial places other teams play.

Some fear owner Stan Kroenke could soon be in a race with other NFL teams to move the Rams back to Los Angeles.

The CVC and the Rams are barred from talking publicly about the negotiations to upgrade the Dome, which begin Wednesday.

"I'm trying to be optimistic," said former CVC Chairman and NFL broadcaster Dan Dierdorf.

But Dierdorf echoes what some close to the effort to keep the team say privately.

"It's going to be a legitimate bona fide offer. Now whether or not it's anywhere in the neighborhood of what the Rams are looking for? The process will play itself out," said Dierdorf.

Dierdorf won't say how much money the CVC will offer to spend on the Dome, but outlined in the lease is a reference to the quality of upgrades the Cardinals made to the old Busch Stadium in the 90s as an example of what might be expected.

" It's going to require this region maybe doing more than right now they think they could but also going to involve the Rams leaving something on the table," said Dierdorf.

The clock starts ticking Tuesday. The Rams will have a month to consider the offer and either accept it, or counter.

If the two sides can't come to terms, the process goes to arbitration in June.



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