Rams, CVC Arbitration Unlikely To Start Until October Or November

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

The start of training camp will likely push negotiations between the St. Louis Rams and Convention and Visitors Commission over the Edward Jones Dome renovations to the back of most fans' minds. It might as well be, because progress on that front may not be coming until much later in the year.

In June, the two sides agreed to pack it in for arbitration. That process has until the end of the year to reach a solution, but arbitration might not even start for a couple more months. Jim Thomas at the Post-Dispatch noted in his Tuesday chat with fans that the two sides were still in the process of picking arbitrators, something that might not be done until October or November.

That would give the Rams and the CVC two months, maybe two and a half, to reconcile the team's $700 million proposal with the CVC's $124 million paint job. The good news is that they do have to arrive at a plan, though neither side has to accept it.

If the CVC does accept whatever plan pops out of arbitration, it would lock the Rams into the full term for their lease. As noted before, it won't be so easy, as whatever plan is likely to require some public revenue beyond the current streams, thus requiring further approval.

Earlier this month, Jason LaCanfora of CBSSports.com put the odds on the Rams as the favorites to move to L.A., though his speculation is no more informed that ours.

Maybe I just have my head in the sand, but I'm betting against a move. Even if the process is not resolved via arbitration - and I doubt it will be - there is more time to reach a solution before the lease expires in 2014. If the plan requires a greater share of public dollars, it would need more time than the end of the year anyway.

If there's one thing we've learned in the NFL these last two years, nothing forces action like a deadline.

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