Now that the Vikings’ stadium situation has been resolved, and the Jaguars’ lease debacle is known to have been simply a misunderstanding, the Rams will be taking center stage in the relocation debate.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission rejected the Rams’ plan for overhauling the Edward Jones Dome, a project with an estimated cost of $700 million that would have also prevented the booking of large conventions during the renovation.
The original renovation plan would have cost just $124 million and was put forth by the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Center. The plan was rejected by the Rams, and the $700 million proposal was the Rams’ counteroffer.
The Rams’ current lease requires that the Edward Jones Dome becomes a “first-tier” facility in 15 different categories by 2015. The team and the St. Louis CVC have until June 15th to resolve the massive disparity between the two offers before the situation goes to arbitration.
As I’ve mentioned before, the threat of an NFL team moving to Los Angeles is a great asset to any team that needs or wants stadium renovations or a brand new stadium altogether. That threat has allowed teams like the Vikings to push very hard for new and updated facilities, because those teams have a very attractive fall-back plan if they decide to move to one of the nation’s biggest markets.
The Rams in particular, like the Raiders, would be an ideal candidate for relocation. After all, the Rams played in the Los Angeles area from 1946 until their move to St. Louis following the 1994 season. It only makes sense that the Rams would be interested in returning to L.A. unless they’re given a top-notch facility.