ST. LOUIS - SEPTEMBER 12: A general view of the Edward Jones Dome prior to the NFL season opener between the Arizona Cardinals and the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on September 12 2010 in St. Louis Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)2
It's Friday, Jun 1. Big deal, right? Sort of. Friday is the deadline for the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission to accept or reject the plan presented by the St. Louis Rams to renovate the Edward Jones Dome. The CVC is widely expected to reject the Rams' offer with an estimated price tag around $700 million.
At issue is making the Dome a "first tier" facility among NFL stadiums. What exactly constitutes "first tier" is a matter of interpretation. The CVC sees the price tag for "first tier" as a $124 million. The Rams are thinking a little bigger and bolder.
If the Dome is not up to snuff by March 2015, the Rams can walk away from their lease.
The gap between the proposals should come as no surprise. Both sides are opening the bidding at the extremes. Assuming the CVC rejects the Rams' plan, the two entities have until June 15 to work out a compromise before the matter heads to arbitration. Arbitration can run until the end of this year. If the CVC accepts the arbitrator's decision, the Rams' lease becomes binding through 2025. That offers a little insight into the difference in proposals.
Before you get all fired up and join the windbags on local talk radio, I would counsel patience. Negotiations over the Dome are going to last a long, long time.