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Rams say no to dome plan; will submit their own
ST. LOUIS (AP) - The St. Louis Rams have rejected the initial proposal to upgrade the Edward Jones Dome and will submit their own improvement plan, the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission said Thursday.
The CVC on Feb. 1 announced details of a plan calling for $124 million in improvements to the dome in an effort to keep the Rams in St. Louis. The team can break its lease after the 2014 season and potentially move to another city if the dome is not deemed to be among the top tier of NFL stadiums.
The CVC said the Rams will submit their own plan no later than May 1.
Messages left with the Rams were not returned.
“It’s part of the dance,” he said.
The CVC plan included a massive scoreboard, new club seats and other amenities. But it also called for the Rams to pay for 52 percent of the cost.
There is growing concern among fans that St. Louis could lose an NFL team for the second time in a quarter of a century. The football Cardinals left for Arizona after the 1987 in large part because of stadium issues _ owner Bill Bidwill wanted a stadium of his own rather than having to share one with baseball’s Cardinals.
The Rams relocated to St. Louis from Los Angeles prior to the 1994 season, and the dome _ built with taxpayer funds and operated by the CVC _ opened that year. Though just 18 years old, it lacks some of the amenities of newer NFL stadiums.
The Rams have a 30-year lease to play at the dome, but the agreement requires that it be among the top 25 percent of all NFL stadiums based on various criteria. If not, the team is allowed to break the lease and in theory could leave at a time when Los Angeles is openly courting NFL teams. Rams owner Stan Kroenke owns an estate in Malibu, Calif., and is among the bidders for baseball’s Los Angeles Dodgers. He has been non-committal about the future of the Rams in St. Louis.
Highlights of the CVC dome improvement plan include:
_Adding a 96-foot-long, 27-foot-tall scoreboard over the center of the field, nearly as large as the one at Cowboys Stadium in Texas.
_Adding 1,500 club seats, along with new club lounges.
_New windows along the length of the field on both sides, creating more natural light.
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