Friday, February 03, 2012
St. Louis Would Spend $60M More to Keep the Rams
"first-tier" stadium, the standard that city officials agreed to 17 years ago — would require the city to pay $59.5 million for stadium improvements, assuming voters approved it in a referendum. That’s 48 percent of the total cost of $124 million, which would include:
The city of St. Louis’ proposal to meet its lease requirements — to ensure the Edward Jones Dome remains a |
• A new 96-by-24-foot scoreboard overhanging the field, a la Cowboys Stadium (although only one-fifth the size)
• A new three-story structure, connected to the Dome via a bridge over Broadway, that would house a 20,000-square-foot lobby, a rooftop beer garden and an entrance to the stadium’s club seats and luxury suites
• New large windows that would allow more natural light inside the Dome
• Fifteen-hundred new club seats, which would displace 1,800 existing seats and four suites
• Updates to locker rooms for cheerleaders and officials
• Various aesthetic improvements to entrances, stairwells and corridors
• Installation of retractable bollards on Broadway that would allow the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission to shut down the street to vehicular traffic
The requirement that the Rams would fund 52 percent of the improvements matches the average contribution by NFL teams in recent stadium construction and renovation projects. According to the St. Louis Post Dispatch, the plan presented to the Rams (who said they are reviewing it and will respond “accordingly”) does not identify the source of the $59.5 million, but CVC President Kathleen indicated that her agency would likely turn to the Dome's owner (the St. Louis Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority) or the three so-called government "sponsors" that paid to build the Dome — meaning, the city, St. Louis County and the state of Missouri.
Originally financed with $256 million in revenue bonds that will cost those entities $720 million over 30 years, the Dome costs Missouri $12 million annually, and St. Louis and St. Louis County $6 million each annually, to retire the debt.
The Rams have until March 1 to accept or reject the CVC proposal, and until May 1 to make a counteroffer. The two sides would go into arbitration if a deal isn't struck by June 15. Without an agreement, the Rams would be free to relocate after March 1, 2015.