St. Louis Rams: St. Louis Mayor Says Proposal to Keep Rams Is "a Good One"

Shane GraySenior Analyst IFebruary 1, 2012

St Louis Mayor Francis Slay
St Louis Mayor Francis Slay

In a blog today at, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay discusses the St. Louis Rams lease negotiations and attempts to bring clarity to the situation.  

Mayor Slay writes that: "The proposal delivered to the Rams today is a good and credible one. It meets the terms of the lease both in deadline and in substance.''

As most of you know, the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission was to present a proposal to the Rams today regarding lease stipulations agreed to by both the Rams and the CVC in 1995, the year the Rams organization relocated to St. Louis

In Mayor Slay's blog, he reveals, interestingly, that his stance is that any agreement between the Rams and CVC would ultimately need the approval of the public before implementation:

I want to make my position on paying for enhancements to the Dome clear: new local public dollars spent to make the facility “top tier” will be subject to the prior vote of the people. If the CVC gets an agreement with the Rams, YOU will get the final say.

This certainly brings clarity, if not complications, to the matter. It will be interesting to see what the reaction to this statement is by the citizens of St. Louis and/or the Rams.

A vote of the people, if it indeed were to occur, could be an actual vote of the people or, perhaps more likely, a vote by the people's public governmental representatives, as occurred with the St. Louis Cardinals new Busch Stadium. 

As for whether Rams fans will be privy to the details of the lease proposal, as opinions have varied, the Mayor wrote:

Today’s proposal begins negotiations that must, under the terms of the lease, take place out of the public eye. There will be financial and strategic documents whose general disclosure would harm the private party with whom the CVC is negotiating. There are legal, economic, and strategic documents that the CVC needs to keep confidential so that it can negotiate successfully. Missouri Sunshine Law clearly allows those exceptions.

Everything else, including the CVC’s plans to satisfy the “top tier” requirements of the lease, should—and will be—matters of public and open record.

As is clear in the last paragraph, everything outside of specific negotiations, "including the CVC’s plans to satisfy the “top tier” requirements of the lease, should—and will be—matters of public and open record."

Finally, Mayor Slay addresses the often discussed and intensely scrutinized "top-tier" clause by sharing these interesting details:

The lease with the St. Louis Rams requires the CVC to bring the Edward Jones Dome up to top tier, as defined in the lease itself. The lease says nothing about building a new facility. It only talks about improvements to the existing facility. Not every sportswriter (or fan) yet understands the “top tier” requirement in the Rams lease—but you should.

It is not about how the entire Edward Jones Dome compares to the many football stadiums constructed after the Dome. Rather, it is about how a dozen or so elements or features in the Dome as defined in the lease compare to those same features in the rest of the league.

At least according to Mayor Slay, the top-tier clause is specifically about a "dozen or so elements or features in the Dome" rather than the entirety of the Edward Jones Dome itself.  

With that said, we have a very keen insight into what the CVC's proposal delivered to the Rams today dealt with.  

Apparently, the proposal was very intently focused upon the precise elements addressed in the top-tier clause, although Mayor Slay's statements do not negate the possibility that more was offered beyond this, as that is also possible, although possibly unlikely. 

It is interesting to note that, as most expected, the apparent focus of the proposal was indeed on the Edward Jones Dome, as stated in the lease, and not a prospective new venue.  

That does not mean that the negotiations as a whole will not also address future concerns about a new stadium or plans in that regard.  However, in reading this blog, it would appear that the primary focus is upon the letter of the law, as detailed in the lease.

For continual updates on the St. Louis Rams/CVC lease negotiations, check here regularly. 

Shane Gray covers the St. Louis Rams year-round. You are encouraged to check out the rest of his work here and to follow him on Twitter.