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St. Louis Mayor Offers Insight Into Dome Lease Negotiations

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The St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission presented their proposal for upgrades to the Edward Jones Dome to the St. Louis Rams on Wednesday. It marked the first major deadline in a lengthy process that will determine whether or not the Rams will continue to call St. Louis home beyond the 2014 season. So far, there are no details available pertaining to the plan, but the Mayor of St. Louis, Francis Slay, did offer some insight into the process, via his blog.

Top Tier

Nothing has confused the whole thing more than the "top tier" requirement, i.e. the one that will allow the Rams to so easily flee their $500,000 annual lease. Mayor Slay revealed that the "top tier" requirements are more specific than many believed.

"It is not about how the entire Edward Jones Dome compares to the many football stadiums constructed after the Dome," the mayor said. "Rather, it is about how a dozen or so elements or features in the Dome as defined in the lease compare to those same features in the rest of the league."

Ok, so what exactly those "dozen or so" things are, we don't know. That could dramatically change the cost and scope of the project that many of us are imagining.

Details of the CVC Plan

Blank.

The mayor did call the CVC plan presented on Wednesday a "good and credible one" that meets requirements in both "deadline and substance."

Don't bother Googling your processor out of work looking for details either. There are none, and there probably won't be any released in public, not officially anyway. The mayor points out that the lease stipulates the negotiations to take place outside the public eye.

They said the same thing about the NFL labor talks. Look for details to emerge in bits and pieces as the two sides strategically leak info.

The Money

Let's face it, this is what it all boils down to. The Rams want a deal that ultimately gets them a bigger piece of pie out of their facility. Whether that means owning something, a share in it or some other arrangement remains to be seen. Revenue for the team and Stan Kroenke could end up being a bigger issue than the stadium fixes themselves.

But it has to start with the stadium upgrades ... and those will cost money. If the Rams and the CVC do agree to something, who will be on the hook for those costs?

It could very well be the public paying for a renovated Dome. Not to worry.

"... new local public dollars spent to make the facility "top tier" will be subject to the prior vote of the people," the mayor said.

Whether or not it will come to that, Mayor Slay doesn't say. His last sentence in the blog post sure makes it sound as though it will indeed come to that.

"If the CVC gets an agreement with the Rams, YOU will get the final say," the mayor said.

Stay tuned, the Rams most exciting game of the last seven seasons is about to take place in select conference rooms around the city.