The St. Louis Rams and the entity operating the Edward Jones Dome will head to arbitration over plans to upgrade the facility and make it a “first tier” NFL stadium.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission (CVC) voted to begin the arbitration process, something that could last until the end of the year.
The CVC proposed a $124 million plan to upgrade the stadium and the Rams countered with an ambitious plan that some estimated would cost up to $700 million – not terribly far off the cost to build a brand new stadium.
Now, a three-member panel that will be selected by both parties will enter into the process. If the Rams don’t have a “first tier” stadium, they can terminate the lease at the stadium following the 2014 season, allowing owner Stan Kroenke to move the club. The Rams could also go year-to-year at that point if they desired.
We’ll see if Los Angeles is more than pawn here to help the Rams get what they want. The franchise-less city has helped so many other NFL franchises get new buildings. Stay tuned.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune