ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - Arbitrators have chosen the St. Louis Ram's plan for the Edward Jones Dome improvements. The Rams’ proposal involves an enlargement and total re-build of the current dome. The estimated price tag is around $700 million dollars.
Greg Smith is an attorney for the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission. He released this statement, "The Arbitrators determined that due to several structural deficiencies in the size and dimensions of the Edward Jones Dome that only the Rams May 2012 Plan for demolishing and rebuilding the facility will make it First Tier under the terms of the existing lease between the parties."
The Rams lease says the team would then be free to leave St. Louis in January of 2015 if the city rejects this plan. There is speculation that the hearing might be a springboard for discussions about the Rams building a new stadium elsewhere in the immediate area.
City and county leaders say it will be put to a public vote before any extra tax dollars are earmarked for any project.
The Rams lease says the dome has to be among the top eight facilities in the NFL or the Rams are free to re-locate. In a previous statement the Rams management said they look forward to being in St. Louis for the next few decades.
Statement From Rams Executive V.P. Of Football Operations/C.O.O. Kevin Demoff:
"The St. Louis Rams are pleased with the Arbitrators' First-Tier award. The independent decision acknowledges that significant improvements are required to put the Edward Jones Dome on equal standing with most National Football League stadiums and to enhance the fan experience. The Rams are hopeful that the Convention and Visitors' Commission will implement the arbitrators' decision and work toward achieving First-Tier status by the March 1, 2015 measuring date as set forth in the parties' lease."