Last week, it was reported that the St. Louis Rams would enjoy having a retractable roof installed during renovations to the Edward Jones Dome. On Monday, a price tag was associated with the Rams wish list of improvements and the franchise’s list of upgrades is significantly higher than what stadium officials currently envision. The Rams are asking for $700 million in improvements while the St Louis Convention and Visitors Commission (CVC) sees a figure of around $124 million.
These discussions are preliminary and both sides are obviously posturing ahead of what will likely become a more intensely heated discussion. According to the current lease the Rams have with the CVC, the Edward Jones Dome must be renovated to what is described as a first-tier facility. This must be accomplished by 2015.
St. Louis mayor Francis Slay is not behind the Rams proposal. The 2012 regular season might be pivotal in deciding whether or not the public will get behind the idea of funding massive stadium, keeping the Rams in St. Louis. The fanbase seems tepid currently to using hundreds of millions of public funds on a new stadium. The Rams recent performance on the field has a lot to do with the feelings. The Rams have posted a 15-65 overall record in the last five years. First-year Rams head coach Jeff Fisher is going to have to show improvement this season in order to energize the Rams fans.
Of course, the issue which will eventually overshadow these discussions will be the possibility of relocation by the Rams to Los Angeles. With the Minnesota Vikings securing funding for a new facility, the Rams have emerged as possible front runners for relocation. The Rams cannot opt out of their lease with the CVC until the conclusion of the 2014 season.