Maryland Heights among Rams’ stadium options

January 25, 2013 by  

As the St. Louis Rams enter arbitration over the future of their present venue, a stretch of Maryland Heights farmland near the Page Avenue extension is on the short list of possible new stadium sites.

The building of an entirely new stadium, with all the construction work, road access improvement, infrastructure support, and program and poster printing changes that come with it, is perhaps not the favorite choice of the Rams. If a compromise with the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission cannot be reached, however, the Rams, who wish to stay in St. Louis, will be in the market for a new home.

The team is currently locked in a stalemate with the Commission over contract-stipulated renovations to Edward Jones Dome, where the Rams have signed a 30-year lease. If the upcoming arbitration proves unsatisfactory, either party could terminate the lease: the Commission by changing to a year-to-year lease or the Rams by buying their way out. If the lease is terminated, the question of a new stadium arises.

Maryland Heights’ city planner Michael Zeek already has several spots in mind and says:

“It’s always kind of been kicked around for this area.”

Jeffrey Hawley, president of local Block Hawley Real Estate, was a bit more emphatic, saying:

“We’d sell in a heartbeat. Everybody would.”

One of the main liabilities of the current stadium’s situation is the fact that the Rams do not own the surrounding parking lots. All that lost revenue, as well as a desire to cater to the space-hungry tradition of tailgating, may well compel the Rams to mirror a recent NFL trend – moving to the suburbs.