The St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission submitted a plan to the St. Louis Rams on Wednesday detailing $124 million in improvements they would like to make to the Edward Jones Dome in an effort to keep the Rams in St. Louis.
The plan calls on the Rams to provide 52 percent of the funding for the improvements, leaving the citizens of St. Louis and the state of Missouri to cover the remaining costs, amounting to about $60 million.
The voters would have to approve the plan, but before that can happen the Rams must make a decision on the plan as well. They have until Mar. 1 to accept, reject, or counter offer the proposal from the CVC.
The Rams' lease with the city states that the dome must be a first tier NFL stadium, which mean the dome must be in the top 25 percent of NFL stadiums, or the Rams could break their lease in 2014 and look for a new home.
But now, 17 years after its construction, 22 newer NFL stadiums have been built making it very difficult to bring the dome into the top tier, again.
Rams owner Stan Kroenke has made no strong statements in favor of moving, but also hasn't firmly stated that the team intends on staying.
Kroenke is also one of the finalists to purchase the Los Angeles Dodgers. The city has long coveted an NFL team since the Rams departed in 1995. Kroenke's potential purchase of the Dodgers has fueled more speculation that he would like to move the team to Southern California.
The City of Los Angeles has already approved an NFL stadium to be built in downtown, and the Rams are considered one of the possbile tenants.
This is also not the first time the city of St. Louis and Kroenke have been through this. The 30-year lease on the dome can be broken every 10 years if the stadium does not meet certain top tier, criteria. In 2005, 10 years after they moved into the dome, the Rams received $30 million in public funding for upgrades.
Under the current proposal, the Edward Jones Dome would look like a cross between Cowboy Stadium and Ford Field in Detroit. A 96-by-27 foot scoreboard would be suspended over midfield. Windows would be placed throughout the building to allow natural light into the stadium.
The city would also undertake a huge renovation project of the space between the dome and the St. Louis Convention Center, creating a larger outdoor space for fans to tailgate on game days.
The plan also includes an attached 50,000-square-foot building that would house game-day entertainment apart from the game like a Geek Suite, to keep fans connect to the web and fantasy football news.
The plan also includes 1,500 new club seats and lounges, as well as general improvements to seating and concessions.
Whether the upgrades are approved could determine whether the Rams stay in St. Louis. Should the Rams leave, it would be the second time St. Louis lost an NFL franchise, after the Cardinals moved to Phoenix in 1988.