After the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission (CVC), the agency that operates the St. Louis Rams' stadium, the Edward Jones Dome, rejected a plan to improve the facility as reported by AP on June 1, I think the chances we will see the team move back to Los Angeles just increased exponentially. As a football-loving citizen of Los Angeles, I'm glad to see the sides continue to not come together and know we would all welcome the Rams' return.
We have two competing stadium proposals here in LA, Farmers Field and the Los Angeles Stadium at Grand Crossing. Both are waiting to secure a team before they proceed with any construction and now that long-awaited piece of the puzzle may be falling into place.
The Rams recently rejected the renovation plan proposed by the CVC that would have prevented a move. The St. Louis Rams are 18 years into a 30 year lease on the dome, but that lease requires the stadium be considered in the upper 25 percent of NFL stadiums based on specific criteria (including scoreboard size). If the team and the CVC cannot agree, the team has a right to break their lease after the 2014 season and leave the city (and hopefully return to Los Angeles).
The CVC submitted a plan back in February 2012 that called for $124 million in improvements to the facility. The plan included a massive new suspended scoreboard, 1,500 new club seats and club lounges, both of which bring in more revenue. The plan would also include adding new windows to the facility to let in more light, as the stadium has serious lack of light issues due to its fortress-like construction. I think the team passed because they would have had to pay for 52 percent of those costs. Now I think we've seen a quid pro quo, with the CVC now rejecting the team's counter-proposal. The sides will now go into arbitration.
The proposal from the Rams called for a new roof with a sliding panel and solved the light problem by replacing a lot of the brick exterior with a glass front. It also called for re-routing a street. The plan did not come with a cost, but the spokesman for the St. Louis mayor released some information in the AP article. The plan is believed to cost about $700 million and would also force the dome to close for three years, which could cost the city half a billion dollars in missed convention revenue.The Kroenke factor
The St. Louis Rams are owned by billionaire Stan Kroenke who I think is a very smart (and successful) businessman and sports team owner. He also owns the Colorado Avalanche and the Denver Nuggets.
Kroenke also seems to like Los Angeles, he was one of the bidders for the Los Angeles Dodgers and I'm sure learned a lot about the city and the sports market here as part of the process. Kroenke is also good friends with Phi Anschutz, the "A" in AEG and the billionaire developer of Farmers Field, so I think there's a good possibility they could work together to move the Rams to Los Angeles and have them play at Farmers Field. AEG has already confirmed they have had discussions with the Rams about a move.
Although born and raised with Eagles fans in Philadelphia, Freddy Sherman has always been a citizen of Raider Nation at heart. Since his dad got him a signed George Blanda football as child, to meeting Lyle Alzado in the 1980s, he hasn't looked back. Follow him on twitter @thefredsherman
More from this contributor:Will St. Louis Rams Move to L.A. If Kroenke Buys Dodgers? Fan's take
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