On Feb. 1, the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission presented the St. Louis Rams with a $124 million proposal for renovations to make the Edward Jones Dome a "top tier" facility. Of all the items in the proposal, the most important might be additional premium seating which could generate more than $2.6 million in new annual revenue for the Rams.
Would that be enough?
A proposal for a downtown Los Angeles stadium prepared by AEG and the City of Los Angeles in the summer of 2011 revealed each NFL team's potential for premium seating revenue. (The San Diego Union Tribune made the report available on their web site). According to that report, the Rams rank 31st in the league for potential premium seating revenue, with a total of $21.59 million.
The LA study looked at the number of club seats and luxury suites and the average annual fee for both. By the accounting of that report, the Rams have 101 suites and 6,692 club seats. According to that report, the average annual fee for a suite at the Dome is $100,000, and the average annual fee for a club seat is $1,720.
The CVC proposal calls for the addition of 1,500 club seats and four suites. The addition of 1,500 club seats would generate $2.58 million and another $400,000 from the additional suites. It is not a net gain, since 1,800 seats would be removed to make way for the club seats.
The LA report collected their information from premium seating and ticketing reps from NFL teams.
Revenues collected from premium seating sales does not go into the revenue sharing pool.
An additional $2.62 million in premium seating revenue would not move the Rams too far up the list. It would put them slightly below the Buffalo Bills, ranked 27th, who can generate slightly more than $25 million in premium seating revenue.
Looking at some of the newer facilities in the league, the Rams would still be lagging significantly in premium seat dollars. The Colts, whose new home was built in 2008, can generate $36 million from premium seating. The two New York teams rank third and fourth on the list, each capable of generating more than $90 million. Nobody beats Jerry Jones and the Cowboys, who can generate as much as $137.9 million. Farmers Field would generate an estimated $122 million.
Obviously, other upgrades to the Dome would add to the revenue picture as well, so would fielding a winning team. Just how much additional revenue the Rams would like to see in a renovated Dome will likely factor into their counter proposal, if they opt to make one.
The team has until March 1 to accept or reject the CVC proposal, and they have until May 1 to offer their own. If the CVC rejects the Rams' proposal, the two sides would head to arbitration.