ST. LOUIS–(KMOX)–It’s still unclear whether the Rams will continue to play long term at the Edward Jones Dome, but the two sides have agreed to let the Rams play a game in London.
The deal allows the Rams to play a regular season home game at London’s Webley Stadium, in exchange for the Convention and Visitors Commission getting the right to book several extra weeks of big conventions at the dome.
“The Rams got something that they really wanted to do, which is a high profile event. It’s going to give them a lot of international exposure,” said CVC President Kitty Ratcliffe, “And for the community, we got the opportunity to generate a lot more economic activity.”
The current lease allows the CVC to book dome-sized conventions one week a month from August through December. Under the new agreement, the CVC would get an extra dome week each of those months in the years 2013, ’14 and ’15. The number of extra dome weeks would drop from five to three in the years 2016 and beyond.
“Adding the opportunity to book an extra week each of those months could mean significant economic activity for the community,” Ratcliffe said.For example, she says a typical dome event, such as the Ace Hardware convention, Joyce Meyer Ministries, or Church of God in Christ convention can each bring ten-thousand attendees.
“Many of those conventions are $10 million in terms of direct spending,” Ratcliffe said.
Ratcliffe hopes the success of the London deal will help the ongoing talks over how to fix up the dome enough for the Rams to stay here. The CVC has proposed $124 million in renovations to the facility, with the Rams paying $64 million and the CVC paying $60 million.
Ratcliffe says there have been no smoke signals from the Rams since the proposal was presented several weeks ago, and there may not be any response until the March 1 deadline.
If the Rams reject the CVC offer, the Rams then have until May 1 to present the CVC with their own proposal.
“They are not required to meet with us prior to May 1,” Ratcliffe said, “So, it’s very possible that we could get the letter on March 1 and everything could go dark for 60 days until such time as we get their proposal on May 1.”
At that point, the CVC would then have a month to respond to the Ram’s counter-proposal and then there’s a process for arbitration.