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11:10 AM, Jun 1, 2009   |    comments
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KSDK -- Senator Claire McCaskill is among more than two dozen people who had signed an online petition asking the new owners of the Rams to keep the team in St. Louis.

Sources say the St. Louis Rams are going up for sale, but their future location is up for discussion.

Sources say there aren't enough prospective buyers in St. Louis.

The online petition is a letter to current St. Louis Rams Owner Chip Rosenbloom. The Senator posted on her Twitter account that she is among the 30 people who had signed it as of Monday morning.

The petition says:

"The St. Louis Rams may be for sale but they are not moving. Even though the current owners are looking for a new owner outside the St. Louis area, we want to keep the team here in one of the best sports cities in America. Please, whoever buys the Rams, keep them here and don't move them away."

Former Convention and Visitors Commission President, Dan Dierdorf says, "I'm not surprised that the Rosenbloom family is looking to have to open it up to other parts of the country, I think it was inevitable."

So could an out-of-state move be in the team's future? Maybe. The Ram's lease with the Edward Jones Dome has a clause, stating the facility must be "top-tier", ranking among the top eight stadiums in terms of quality in the NFL. If that steep standard isn't met, the team could theoretically opt out of the agreement. Competition for the Dome will be stiff.

Dierdorf says, "It's going to be the Cowboys new $1.1 billion stadium that's opening this year in Dallas. All these big removable roofs like the Palace in Indianapolis, that's what we have to compete with and not only compete with but be comparable to."

A plan to renovate or even replace the Dome would have to be in place by 2012, otherwise the 2014 season could be the Ram's last in St. Louis.

Dierdorf says, "St. Louis is going to have to make a really difficult decision between now and then, how much are we willing to spend as a community to keep the Rams here."
The Convention and Visitors Commission is charged with negotiating the deal. And the planning has already begun.
President, Kitty Ratcliffe says, "We'll continue to work with whoever the owners are."

She adds, "We've actually started a dialogue with a number of the stakeholders in the community and that will be ongoing for the next six months or so and then we're going to have to get serious about a plan."

At Lesters Sports Bar, fans say they won't give up. They're willing to fight for football in St. Louis.

Buddy Catanzaro says, "I wouldn't want to see them move. I want them here forever."

Andy Garvey adds, "I think it's horrible. I think that St. Louis after losing so many jobs and so many big businesses, we have to keep our football team."

The Convention and Visitors Commission is already doing $30 million worth of work on the Dome. But that is just to meet the previous terms of the contract from 2005.

KSDK

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