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Nothing would make St. Louis fans happier than gift three.
Whether real or perceived, there has been a cloud hanging over St. Louis for several seasons regarding the upcoming lease situation.
In February, the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission (CVC) must present a preliminary plan to the Rams regarding upgrades to the Edward Jones Dome.
The Rams have until March 1 to accept that offer. If the Rams reject it, they have until May 1 to counteroffer.
If the CVC were to agree to the Rams counteroffer, they would have until June 1 to show in detail how they would pay for those enhancements.
If it were to come to that stage and still the sides could not agree, it would go to arbitration next June. If there were no deal thereafter, the Rams could leave town following the 2014 season.
However, (and I will be writing about this in detail soon), things look promising that the Rams and the CVC will work this out and remain in St. Louis permanently.
From an interview with Randy Karraker this year, Rams Chief Operating Officer Kevin Demoff stated the following, from RamsFans.com.
"Our viewpoint on a stadium is very simple. We want to get a stadium solution that works for the citizens of this region that makes this city competitive for Final Fours, for political conventions, for bowl games. We want a global solution. Not just what the Rams need, but what is needed to move St. Louis forward as a region and as a city. If we're going to have a 65,000 seat stadium downtown, let's make sure it works for all parties involved. If it works for everybody, it should work for us."
Demoff went to on to say:
"I think there are a lot of ways to look at the top twenty-five percent. There have been eighteen stadiums built since the Edward Jones Dome was built, and there have been four that have had more than a $300 million renovation in that period. Obviously there's been a lot of work done. I don't think it does anybody any good to lay out guidelines for exactly what it is that meets the criteria. I think the criteria need to be what makes St. Louis a better place for our citizens, and a better place for everybody long term. As long as we use that as our guiding principle, how we can work together, how we can build something meaningful for everybody involved, then it shouldn't really matter where it ultimately ranks."
Those words are clear and promising—something that St. Louis fans should be strongly encouraged by.
As for the long-term stadium future, if the Rams even indeed desire a new stadium down the road, (something the organization hasn't even stated they desire), rumblings have surfaced regarding possible sites such as the Bottle District in St. Louis or the old Crysler grounds in Fenton.
Either way, St. Louis fans would (and I fully believe ultimately will) breathe the biggest sigh of relief ever when getting this monkey off their back.
In moving forward, getting this situation resolved will likely boost, among other things:
- ticket sales
- fan morale very significantly
- marketing efforts for the St. Louis Rams in St. Louis and the region
As for Christmas gifts, as great as the others might be, this one would undoubtedly (and I believe certainly will) trump them all.
It would be the best Christmas gift ever for many Rams fans equaling if not surpassing the Super Bowl victory in 2000.
None of these three gifts have been opened yet although I am fully confident that two of the three will be opened next year.
Attaining the No. 1 pick, however, is beyond the control of the Rams.
If the Rams drop their last two and the Colts and Vikings each win a game, Rams fans will get a third gift as well: the rights to the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft.
Regardless, Merry Christmas to each of you and best wishes to you, yours, and the St. Louis Rams in 2012.
May it be both your and the St. Louis Rams best year ever.
Shane Gray is a passionate St. Louis Rams fan and covers the Rams year round. To check out the rest of his work, go here.