Edward Jones Dome decision puts Maryland Heights one step closer to hosting Rams

February 9, 2013 by  

An arbitration panel ruled Friday in favor of the St. Louis Rams’ $700m renovation proposal as the only current plan likely to give the Rams a “top-tier” football stadium.

The owning authority of the current stadium, the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission (CVC), is expected to balk at the hefty price increase over its own $124m plan. If the CVC has not accepted the plan in 30 days, the Rams will be free to build a new stadium, and Maryland Heights’ name may be in the address when the time comes for the Rams’ new stationery printing.

The conflict arises from a line in the original agreement which states that the CVC would provide the Rams with a stadium in the top 25%, or one of the top eight in the NFL, by 2015. The team felt that the resulting proposal, which would have erected a bigger scoreboard and provided improved amenities, was lacking in a division in which all its rivals have built new stadiums in the past 11 years. The nearly 20-year- old Edward Jones Dome was described by the arbitrators as “the smallest in the NFL” and lacking “openness, light, and air.”

The Rams’ proposal amounted to an almost total rebuilding, including a sliding roof and street rerouting.

With the CVC’s lawyers publicly stating that an agreement is unlikely, speculation has already moved on to the three likeliest stadium locations: the depopulated Bottle District north of the Dome, the abandoned Chrysler plant in Fenton, or the spacious, untouched fields west of Maryland Heights.