According to an article from Amir Kurtovic for the St. Louis Business Journal, the proposal presented by the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Convention regarding the St. Louis Rams/CVC lease agreed to in 1995 totals $124 million in renovations, with 52 percent of the fees going to the Rams and 48 percent to the city of St. Louis.
If agreed to, the CVC would be putting just under $60 million toward the Edward Jones Dome. In 2005, when the first lease deadline came about, the CVC put $30 million toward renovations and the top-tier requirements were waved by then-owner Georgia Frontiere, who has since passed.
New Rams owner Stan Kroenke is not expected to settle as easily as Frontiere did, however.
The Rams have never been on record requesting a new stadium, nor have they demanded top-tier upgrades, although St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay says these proposed enhancements would satisfy top-tier requirements, as reported here.
The Rams have spoken in detail through team Vice President of Football Operations and Chief Operating Officer Kevin Demoff. Demoff has stated a desire for a global solution that works for the citizens, the city and for the Rams—one that would help the region thrive and become a bigger national and international draw in regard to political conventions, Final Fours, Super Bowls, FIFA soccer events and more.
Specifics of the proposal, as reported in the aforementioned article included:
- "The addition of 1,500 club seats and expanded club lounge areas" (replacing about 1,500 regular seats)
- "The addition of a 20,000-square-foot three-story lounge area across Broadway in Baer Plaza that would connect to the Dome via a sky-bridge. The Baer Plaza addition would include a beer garden and was is dubbed a 'Geek Suite' that would be stocked with electronics and allow fans to surf the web or make changes to their fantasy football teams."
- "North Broadway would be closed on game days between Cole and Seventh Streets to create a traffic-free entertainment area."
- The addition of "two new gigantic center-hung scoreboards that would be visible from each seat in the stadium. The scoreboards would be 96 feet wide and 27 feet high. For comparison, the center-hung high-definition screen inside the Cowboys Stadium is 160-by-72-feet."
- "The proposed changes would bring in more natural lighting by removing steel panels below the roof and replacing them with glass. The windows would run along the lengths of both sidelines and would supplement the natural light added on the north and south sides in a 2005 renovation."
- "Upgrades would also be made to concessions areas and other visual improvements would be made to make the Dome more modern."
Also, aesthetic enhancements to entrances, stairwells, corridors, locker rooms for cheerleaders and officials, and the replacing the Dome's outdoor smoking area in the form of a plaza would be included.
At first glance, the proposal looks very attractive.
The addition of these mega screens would dramatically change the look of the Edward Jones Dome. In addition, the biggest complaint I have heard (lack of light) would be greatly addressed as well.
Interestingly, if all details were released, nothing regarding the red seats, larger entrances, sound system, parking upgrades or expanded tailgating areas was addressed, apparently, which was admittedly somewhat surprising. However, there is a lot of meat to this proposal, it seems.
The additional 1,500 club seats would also be a nice upgrade for the Rams in regard to potential new revenue.
All in all, this appears to be, at the very least, a very reasonable first offer to the Rams. It is expected that the Rams will counteroffer, however.
One would think that the CVC is expecting that, too. It would seem fair to assume, then, that the CVC may have held back a little funding for the expected additional requests from the Rams.
It will be interesting to see how the Rams respond on or before March 1, as they must accept or reject this proposal on or before that date.
According to a separate article from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, St. Louis CVC President Kathleen "Kitty" Ratkliffe said that
We hope they're going to turn around in 30 days and say they love it," Ratcliffe said. But we expect there to be changes.
It is good to hear that Ratkliffe has hopes of the Rams accepting while being open to the expectation that the Rams will desire changes, amendments and/or additions to this proposal.
In that regard, things appear to be on track.
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