Let Me Upgrade Ya

Extreme Make-over: Rams Edition - Dilip Vishwanat

While several teams throughout the NFL have inked new deals with their host cities, the St. Louis Rams are still twiddling their thumbs waiting for something to happen.

Newcowboysstadium_cropped_medium

Top Tier: See above.

In 1994, the Los Angeles Rams began making moves, prompted by then owner Gerorgia Frontiere and poor ticket sales, to come "home" to St. Louis. The Ed was completely paid for with tax payer dollars. At the time, this wasn't so unusual. Many teams were funded with a majority of tax payer dollars, as they are today. People literally held rallies in the streets of St. Louis, cheering Georgia's name, and praising the team for filling the football void left by the Cardinals, now in Arizona, in 1988. The Ed was already being built before the decision was finalized by the league, after Georgia sued the National Football League in court under anti-trust provisions. Everything was looking up for the Ram's, who hadn't been relevant in the last few years.

Fast forward to the spring of 2013, and the Rams are still playing in the Edward Jones Dome. Sure, the CVC has paid for upgrades along the way to honor their part of the deal to keep the Ed in the top tier of NFL venues, but the facility is aging, and upgrades are only going to provide top tier status for so long. Eventually the Ed will have to be gutted and rebuilt to satisfy the lease agreement. Owner Stan Kroenke has said many times that he wants to keep the Rams is St. Louis, however the 2015 deadline is right around the corner. Many other teams have been able to work out deals with their host cities to ensure they are playing in a top-of-the-line facility; giving the Rams even more leverage to broker a deal for either a redesigned Ed, or a completely new facility altogether. Considering the versatility of such a facility to the city of St. Louis, officials would do well to heed the writing on the wall. The Ed has played host to countless conventions, concerts, college sporting events, and other large scale events over the years, providing the city with mountains of revenue, and more importantly to the voter - jobs. The Ed has also hosted five playoff games, including two NFC championship games.

The Rams are a young up and coming team, with new coaching staff and management. The team hasn't been this exciting in nearly a decade, and is sure to start drawing sold-out crowds and national television exposure. It's nearing time - past time in the eyes of many - for the CVC and Stan Kroenke to iron out a deal that can be beneficial to both sides. While Stan Kroenke doesn't want to move the Rams again, he has the money and the influence to make it happen. 2015 isn't getting any further away. Before too long, the St. Louis Rams will be saying, "show me the money, or show me the door."

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