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Edward Jones Dome

Edward Jones Dome

  Venue Particulars  
Address 701 Convention Plaza
St. Louis, MO 63101
Phone (314) 342-5036
Seating Weather
Satellite View
Rams Gear
  Venue Resources  
Hotels, Dining & Deals in St. Louis

  The Facility  
Date Opened November 12, 1995
St. Louis Regional Sports Authority
(St. Louis Convention/Visitors Bureau)
Surface AstroTurf
Cost of Construction $280 million
Stadium Financing Debt issued by City, State and County; annual debt service paid by City ($6 million from tax revenue); State ($12 million from tax revenue); County ($6 million from hotel/motel tax).
Former Names Trans World Dome
The Dome at America's Center
Edward Jones Dome
Russell Athletic Field at Edward Jones Dome
(December 11, 2006)
Naming Rights Edward Jones will pay the Rams an average of $2.65 million per year over the course of the 12-year agreement.
TWA originally agreed to pay $1.3 million annually for 20-year naming rights beginning in 1995 with payments increasing 3.5% each year.
Stadium Architect Populous
  Other Facts  
Former Tenants St. Louis Rams
(NFL) (1995-2015)
Population Base 2,500,000
On Site Parking 900
Nearest Airport Lambert-St. Louis International Airport (STL)
Retired Numbers #7 Bob Waterfield
#8 Larry Wilson
#11 Norm Van Brocklin
#28 Marshall Faulk
#29 Eric Dickerson
#40 Elroy "Crazy Legs" Hirsch
#65 Tom Mack
#72 Dan Dierdorf
#74 Merlin Olsen
#75 David "Deacon" Jones
#78 Jackie Slater
#80 Tom Fears
#81 Jackie Smith
#85 Jack Youngblood

Championships 1st


Capacity 65,321
Average Ticket $60.92
Fan Cost Index (FCI) $336.68
The Team Marketing Report FCI includes: four average-price tickets; four small soft drinks; two small beers; four hot dogs; two game programs; parking; and two adult-size caps.
Luxury Suites 124 Suites
Club Seats 6,500
  Attendance History  
Season  Total  Capacity Change
1993 363,211 64% -5%
1994 338,497 60% -6.8%
1995 496,486 99% 46.7%
1996 484,896 93% -2.3%
1997 518,468 99% 6.9%
1998 440,642 84% -15%
1999 520,926 100% 18.2%
2000 528,402 100.1% 1.4%

2001 2002 2003 2004
528,829 528,498 528,456 527,384

2006 2007 2008 2009
523,685 522,610 504,354 479,843

2009 2010 2011 2012
441,901 423,383 451,153 396,925

2013 2014 2015
455,657 456,146 419,220

1993-1994 - Attendance at Anaheim Stadium, Anaheim, Ca.
1995 - Attendance at Busch Stadium, St. Louis, Mo.

Sources: Mediaventures

HOK - Press Release
The Dome at America's Center (now Edward Jones Dome) was designed by Hellmuth, Obata & Kassabaum (HOK), Inc., St. Louis, with the HOK Sports Facilities Group HOK Sport, Kansas City, which has provided design or consulting services for 28 of the 30 NFL teams. HOK Sport most recently completed the design of the new stadium for Florida's Jacksonville Jaguars and, in April, Coors Field in Denver. HOK, St. Louis, has designed numerous local landmarks including America's Center, Metropolitan Square, The Living World, St. Louis Planetarium and Lambert International Airport.

As one of the nation's most versatile spectator facilities, the new Edward Jones Dome was designed to function smoothly and efficiently as both a state-of-the-art stadium and as a standard-setting expansion of the America's Center convention complex. At the same time, the Dome serves to revitalize its surrounding neighborhood on the northeast side of downtown St. Louis, Missouri, through its cohesive definition of a new urban district. "This facility was designed to enhance St. Louis's ability to attract major events," notes HOK Sport Project Principal Dennis Wellner. "We focused on minimizing conversion times so that the building could be in use -- hosting exhibitions, concerts, shows and sporting events -- as much of the time as possible."

Intimate Seating
As a football stadium, the Edward Jones Dome features spectator seating for 67,000, with 125 private suites and club seating for 6,300. The stadium also has an enviably intimate seating configuration, providing every seat in the house with an "on top of the action" feel. As an extension of the America's Center, the facility adds 185,000 square feet to the center's exhibition space, along with 47,000 square feet of meeting rooms and support space.

'Magic' Turf
Two unique features have been added to the stadium to assure its complete flexibility. To speed the conversion time from football stadium to convention center, a 'Magic Carpet'? turf system has been used. With this system, forced-air jets in the floor create a 'cushion' that allows the turf to be rolled into place in about an hour. For storage, the turf retracts into a chamber beneath the event floor.

Adjustable Ceiling
To adjust the volume of the space for different events, the ceiling grid can be moved up and down. For football and other stadium events, the lighting grid will remain in its normal position under the roof. For conventions and exhibitions, the volume of the space will be reduced by lowering the lighting grid, which will create a lower ceiling plane and give the event floor a more intimate atmosphere.

Reviving Urban Life
In the design of the Dome's exterior facade, emphasis of architectural detail was placed on the structure's walls rather than on its massive dome. "The walls are where the city is and where the people are," states Steven Brubaker, HOK senior designer, who worked with Principal in Charge of Design and HOK Co-Chairman Gyo Obata. "We wanted the design to encourage urban life and activity in the Dome's surrounding district." The Edward Jones Dome facade is consistent in many of its details with the south expansion of America's Center which opened in May 1993. Architectural elements such as rotundas, turrets, ramps, pillars, portals and plazas extend along the entire convention complex in a manner Brubaker describes as "episodic" or "like pearls on a string." The details relate to the nearby Mississippi River and riverfront, the Eads Bridge and other historic structures, helping to ensure the future viability of nearby rehabilitated areas.

Reducing the Scale
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"The greatest detail has been placed in those elements which people see and use the most such as entries and ramps," Brubaker explains. "Glass and openness, as well as signs, canopies and plazas, have been used to create welcoming areas for gathering and to add life to the street." Entry rotundas have been scaled to correlate with the Union Market and the Convention Center, reducing the scale of the Dome overall. "On the street, there is no sense of the dome element at all," the designer says.

Views to the city are everchanging from the ramp levels which provide close-up, seemingly touchable perspectives of the surrounding historic structures. On the east facade, the design impression of city towers defines the edge of the city while the nearby Eads Bridge piers are reflected in the Dome's stair towers of large-scale masonry buttressing steel spans. Further, a reference to St. Louis's signature Gateway Arch is suggested in the Dome's curving, cantilevered ramps and in the stadium's overall orientation pointing toward the Arch.

The Edward Jones Dome opened November 12, 1995, for the St. Louis Rams' tenth game of the NFL season. Construction began in May 1993.

With 1,500 employees, HOK is the largest U.S.-based architectural firm and ranks third in the world. In addition to St. Louis and Kansas City, HOK offices are in 18 other worldwide locations including Tokyo, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Mexico City, Berlin, London and Warsaw. HOK Sport project leaders are available for interviews as follows:

St. Louis (314) 421-2000
Gyo Obata, principal in charge of design
Steven Brubaker, senior designer
Dennis Laflen, project manager

Kansas City (816) 221-1576
Ron Labinski, senior vice president
Dennis Wellner, senior designer
Charles E. Coon, project architect


From I-44
I-44 intersects with I-55/70 near Downtown. Exit merged Interstates at Downtown Exit Memorial Drive. Memorial Drive to Washington Avenue. For the Broadway Central Entrance to the Trans World Dome, turn left on Washington Avenue to 9th Street (one-way). Right on 9th Street (one-way) to Cole Street. Right on Cole Street to Broadway (one-way). Right on Broadway (one-way south) to Broadway Central Entrance (located in center of the block in between Entries C and B).

From I-55
See above directions after I-44 merge.

From I-270
I-270 does not extend into Downtown St. Louis. It does intersect with I-55, I-70, I-44 and Highway 40 at various points.

From Illinois (I-55/70) via Poplar St. Bridge
Exit bridge via the Memorial Drive Exit (one-way north). Memorial Drive to Washington Avenue. For the Broadway Central Entrance of the Trans World Dome, turn left on Washington Avenue to 9th Street (one-way). Right on 9th Street (one-way) to Cole Street. Right on Cole Street to Broadway (one-way). Right on Broadway (one-way south) to Broadway Central Entrance (located in center of the block in between Entries C and B).

From I-64 (Highway 40)
Highway 40 to the Last Missouri Exit (Broadway). At end of ramp make left on Cerre Street (one-way east). Cerre Street to 4th Street. Left on 4th Street to Washington Avenue. For the Broadway Central Entrance to the Trans World Dome, turn left on Washington Avenue to 9th Street (one-way). Right on 9th Street (one-way) to Cole Street. Right on Cole Street to Broadway (one-way). Right on Broadway (one-way south) to Broadway Central Entrance (located in center of the block between Entries C and B).

From Lambert St. Louis International Airport
Approximately 18 miles south of the airport. Take I-70 East to Broadway Exit. Broadway (one-way south) to Washington Avenue. Broadway Central entrance to the Trans World Dome will be located in the center of the block in between Entries C and B.

By: Andrew Kulyk & Peter Farrell

Edward Jones Dome Ranking by USRT
Architecture 7
Concessions 5
Scoreboard 5
Ushers 8
Fan Support 7
Location 7
Banners/History 8
Entertainment 4
Concourses/Fan Comfort 7
Bonus: Tailgate Scene 1
Bonus: Atrium Lobbies 1
Bonus: Ring of Honor 2
Total Score 62
October 1, 2000 & October 30, 2005 - The TWA Dome was built by taxpayers desperate to get an NFL team back.. and build it they did! This facility is glitzy, modern, and has more of the feel of a hockey arena than a football stadium. Opened in 1995, this facility is a centerpiece of the "America's Center" convention center complex which dominates the north end of downtown St. Louis. Bright, airy, and imposing, the stadium is used by the St. Louis Rams as the principal tenant and also function as a multi purpose use event and convention facility.

Getting to the venue
The stadium can be easily seen when traveling along I-70, but St. Louis is bisected by a number of interstates, including I-55, I-64 and I-44 all converging on downtown St. Louis. signage will direct you right to the Dome. Public transportation via the St. Louis Metrolink light rail brings fans right to the convention center complex. There is ample surface and garage ramp parking within a 10 minute walk of the stadium, with fees running $10-$20.

Outside the Venue
The stadium is physically attached to the massive America's Center, and is surrounded to the south and west by office buildings and hotels. Being on the fringes of downtown, brownfields and industrial areas lie to the north. The coolest area a couple blocks from the Dome is a historic district called "Lacledes Landing",  a collection of historic buildings housing restaurants, shops, nightclubs, and the streets are packed with people, horse drawn carriages, street entertainers and hot dog vendors. On game days, the plaza to the east of building and hotel lots kitty corner are set up with music platforms and street vendors are everywhere making for a festive pregame atmosphere.

Tailgating does go on here but is not a focal point of the outdoor events and activities.

The outside facade of the stadium is emblazoned not only with the building name, but also backlit neon signs of corporate sponsors (Missouri Lottery, Budweiser etc). Andrew thought this looked cool but Peter saw it as too tacky and commercial.

The concourses here are mega wide and the floor and walls are done in the teams blue and gold colors. Multicolored flags and concession canopies add to the nice decor, and on both upper and lower levels there is plenty of glass and natural light, so during the daytime the hallways and corridors are bright and airy looking. There are 4 entry points, one in each corner of the building,  and each with its own specious atrium and glass escalators taking you to your level.

Premium Seats
Two levels of suites, 120 total, ring the seating bowl, one at the top of the lower level and the second at the top of the club level. Club seating is at the 200 level and runs th entire periphery of the bowl except for the location of the end zone scoreboards. The club areas are served by two premium restaurants - The Rams Club at the north end, offering an upscale buffet, and an appointed bar area with a video wall, and the south end is the Budweiser Brew House, with wings burgers and a sports bar motif.

The Bowl
The seating area here is massive and cavernous, and a bit dark compared to the bright concourses. Seats are all colored wine red, and the bowl has three levels of seating, with the lower level broken up by a center aisle which wraps around the entire seating bowl. Backlit ad panels and small dot matrix boards are interspersed among the club and upper level balconies, and end zone scoreboards and videoboards are bookended by more ad panels. The technology here is pretty far behind the times compared to some of the newer NFL venues.

Banners/Retired Numbers
Inside the bowl there is a ring of fame containing retired numbers and Rams hall of famers, and kudos to the organization for bringing their rich history with them from Los Angeles and displaying all the old LA greats. This in contrast to the Colts who pretend the franchise didn't exist prior to 1984. And yes, they proudly display their Super Bowl XXXIV championship banner high up in the rafters.

Just a point here the food items are really pricey, even my sports standards (large beer $9.50 yikes!).The various stands feature all different kinds of hot dogs and bratwursts. like the "Big Dog" topped with chili. We recommend the cheese filled pizza sticks and the nachos grande with all the gooey toppings. And no, we could not locate any of the famed St. Louis toasted raviolis! All good stuff, but pretty expensive menu and little imagination in the food offerings.

Touchdowns, Extra Points, Penalties...

Extra Point - The Rams are sold out on season tickets, and have a lengthy waiting list - To build the stadium they sold Personal Seat Licenses.

Penalty - Ahh yes PSL's a concept which is common in some of these new sports venues but something we are loath to embrace. Yet another shakedown of the ticket buying public.

Touchdown - Outside the Dome is a wall of fame of all the PSL buyers who help pay to build the stadium... it is engraved and kind of reminds me of the Vietnam memorial is DC. When we were there there were quite a few people checking out the names, so it was quite an attraction..

And of course the corresponding penalty... The down side of course is someone always gets left out - the woman next to us was a PSL holder, attended every game the Rams ever played, attended every St Louis Cardinals football game before that team left, and her name was omitted and she was angry about that.

Overall we were so impressed with this building that it earns high marks as one of our favorite NFL venues - architecturally stunning, beautiful and functional building, downtown location and great fan support.

February 12, 2009
Copyright 2009 MediaVentures

A $30 million improvement project, including state-of-the-art scoreboards and video boards in both end zones, has begun at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis. The project includes renovations to the Rams Club in the north end zone and creation of a Premium Club in the south end zone. As part of the scoreboard renovations, fans in the Rams Club and Premium Club will be able to view the field from those areas, and it will allow some daylight in the bowl area. Also, four suites will be combined to create 72 "super suite" seats that can purchased individually. All of the renovations are scheduled to be completed in time for the start of the Rams' 2009 season. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

June 4, 2009
Copyright 2009 MediaVentures

St. Louis, Mo. - The heirs of the late Georgia Frontiere have hired a firm to help them find a new owner for the St. Louis Rams. Majority owners Chip Rosenbloom and Lucia Rodriguez hired Goldman Sachs to handle the effort.

The two own 60 percent of the franchise. The balance is owned by Stan Kroenke who reportedly wants to keep his shares. Kroenke also owns the Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche.

Because of that ownership, he is prohibited from owning 100 percent of the Rams.

Reports say there will be no conditions on the sale, meaning a new buyer could conceivably move the franchise.

Team officials said they had made efforts to find local owners, but they could not find any willing buyers. After reports surfaced that the team was for sale, NHL Blues owner Dave Checketts said he would attempt to pull together an investment group to acquire the team.

The Rams' lease agreement with the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission stipulates that the Edward Jones Dome must be a "top-tier" facility that ranks among the top eight stadiums in terms of quality in the 32-team NFL by 2015.

If that top-level status is not met, the Rams would be able to opt out of the stadium lease following the 2014 season.

It's virtually impossible for the CVC to meet that top-eight standard. By 2010, 23 NFL stadiums will have been built or thoroughly renovated since the Edward Jones Dome opened in 1995.

Even with a $30 million upgrade that's being done now, the Edward Jones Dome will be one of the oldest stadiums in the NFL by 2015.

In 2012 the CVC and the Rams will each submit a plan to suitably improve the Dome. And if they can't agree, the dispute will go to arbitration.

August 6, 2009
Copyright 2009 MediaVentures

St. Louis, Mo. - The lease between the St. Louis Rams and the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission requires that the stadium be in the top 25 percent of stadiums in the NFL in order to bind the team to the venue. Observers are concerned that, with the team up for sale, that the franchise could relocate if the conditions aren't met.

There are 15 conditions that must be measured in order to determine if the building meets the criteria ranging from luxury suites to club seats, lighting to scoreboards, regular stadium seating, concession areas, common areas (such as concourses and restrooms), electronic and telecommunications equipment, the playing surface, and the locker and training rooms.

None of the provisions for suites, club seats, or stadium seats deals with quantities. The measurements have to do with whether the seats are cushioned or how they compare in width with other first-tier stadiums. Concourse widths are important as is lighting and scoreboard technology.

If the CVC, which runs the dome, were held to strict first-tier standards, how much would it take for the stadium to become a top eight facility by 2015, the deadline for the CVC to bring the venue up to standards. The figure is not known, but it is estimated to be tens of millions.

Twice postponed, the 2005 measurement for first-tier status never took place. The parties agreed instead to $30 million in improvements that included scoreboards.

The next scheduled deadline for first-tier status is March 1, 2015. But the process that could lead to the Rams getting out of the lease and potentially relocating starts much sooner - in just 2 1/2 years.

On or before Feb. 1, 2012, the CVC must deliver a preliminary plan for first-tier improvements. The overall plan must include a financial plan, as well as the source of those funds.

The Rams then have until March 1, 2012, to notify the CVC if they approve or disapprove of those plans.

At that point, the Rams have until May 1, 2012, to submit an alternate plan, with the CVC then given until June 1, 2012, to accept or reject the Rams' alternate plan.

If the CVC rejects the Rams' alternate plan, the matter goes to arbitration on June 15, 2012. The arbitration must be completed by the end of 2012.

If no agreement is reached, the stadium lease would then convert to a year-to-year lease, with the Rams free to move after the 2014 season.

September 16, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures

St. Louis, Mo. - Stan Kroenke may be new as the owner of the St. Louis Rams, but he'll face some old questions about the stadium's future, according to Forbes blogger Patrick Rishe.

Rische said the Rams lease agreement with the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission (CVC) requires the Edward Jones Dome rank among the top eight stadiums in the 32-team NFL on the Dome's 20th birthday in 2015. If first-tier status is not met, the Rams lease would switch to year-to-year terms a decade ahead of schedule and the team would have the option to leave St. Louis.

That means the city would either have to pay for the upgrades or Kroenke would have to fund them himself, an option Rische finds unlikely.

"Given the history of public financing in The Lou over the last 20 years, and given that the Rams don't have the fan loyalty and strong regional ties due to their short history in the Midwest, you can rest assured that most citizens and certainly city, county, and state legislators will not approve more public dollars to a franchise that has lingered well below mediocrity for most of its Midwest tenure ...," Rishe wrote.

What he believes is more likely is that Kroenke will fund some of the improvements or that the team will move to another city, possibly Los Angeles.

September 16, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn is optimistic that if Missouri doesn't find a way to help build a new stadium for the St. Louis Rams in the next decade, his state could become a player, according to KMOX radio. "I think its important for Illinois and Missouri to work together for the betterment of the region," Governor Quinn told the station. Quinn told KMOX News that lawmakers need to gauge support of Metro-East residents before making their decision.

January 12, 2012
Copyright 2012 MediaVentures

St. Louis, Mo. - Local civic and political leaders are trying to craft a plan for revamping the Edward Jones Dome, with just three weeks left before they must send the Rams a proposal, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

The Rams' lease gives the team an escape clause if the Dome isn't a "first tier" football stadium by 2015. But negotiations are supposed to unfold this year, with a series of upcoming deadlines that start next month.

If the two sides can't reach a deal, the lease eventually could be declared void. After the 2014 season, the Rams would be free to leave, or could rent the Dome on a season-to-season basis, according to the lease.

By Feb. 1, the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission, which owns the Dome, must give the Rams a proposal for improving the stadium, including a financing plan. The proposal is supposed to be one that the CVC "reasonably believes" would put the Dome in the top quarter of all stadiums in the National Football League.

The CVC has been meeting behind closed doors with officials from St. Louis and St. Louis County to hammer out the proposal. The newspaper said so far, no one involved in the talks has broken ranks to discuss what publicly funded improvements to the Dome, if any, will be proposed.

CVC President Kathleen "Kitty" Ratcliffe would not discuss the proposal or the process under way to develop it.

We "are very aware of the deadlines and we are preparing for negotiations," she said in an email.

The team's lease requires that come 2015, the Dome must be superior to three-quarters of all NFL venues. That will be a tall order when more than half of pro football stadiums are newer than the Dome, and the glitziest ones have surpassed $1 billion. Another complication is that the lease does not spell out what exactly constitutes "first tier."

An option, then, may be not so much to hit the "first tier" level but to make at least enough improvements to appease the Rams.

Either way, the cost is likely to reach into the millions at a time when public money is already being spent to pay off the original construction costs.

The Dome was largely financed with $256 million in revenue bonds, and the repayment of that 30-year debt will be $720 million. Every year, Missouri spends $12 million to pay off the debt, and St. Louis and St. Louis County each pay $6 million annually. The county's portion is funded through a 3.5 percent hotel tax approved by voters in 1990.

The lease calls for the Rams to stay in town through 2025 but only if the Dome is judged to be "first tier" at two points: in the 10th year of the lease, in 2005, and again by its 20th year, 2015.

The Rams waived the requirement the first time in exchange for $30 million in publicly funded improvements, including replacing video boards and scoreboards, expanding private end zone clubs, repainting the Dome's interior and installing credit card readers at concession stands.

This time, there are a series of deadlines this year, starting with the CVC's mandate to deliver a plan by Feb. 1. The Rams could counteroffer and would have to do so by May 1.

If the two sides can't strike a deal, they will meet in arbitration starting June 15 and, if needed, through the end of December. An arbitrator can't force the CVC to fund improvements to the Dome but can determine whether the plans pushed by either side - or a combination of the two – would make the Dome a first-tier stadium.

If the two sides still can't reach a deal, the Rams would eventually be free to relocate – after March 1, 2015, according to the lease.

January 26, 2012
Copyright 2012 MediaVentures

St. Louis, Mo. - The St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams' future in St. Louis could be in question because of two words that the newspaper said aren't usually associated with the Edward Jones Dome: first tier.

Those words give the Rams a door to walk away from the team's lease at the Dome – the building has to be a "first-tier" stadium by 2015, or among the top 25 percent of NFL venues.

The lease itself, however, doesn't offer much clarity on what constitutes first tier. It identifies several components that need to meet that bar, but also includes vague factors, such as "the physical structure of the facilities." Another says simply "stadium seating."

The lease includes enough broad language that negotiators could argue just about every inch of the Dome is subject to the standard.

Winning over Rams owner Stan Kroenke could involve millions in publicly funded improvements. The key may be not necessarily to offer enough to make the Dome one of football's first-tier shrines, but perhaps enough to get the Rams to look the other way or renegotiate the agreement.

The St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission, which manages the Dome, has until Feb. 1 to present the Rams with a plan for revamping the stadium.

The Dome must be deemed first tier in each of 15 categories, though the lease doesn't spell exactly what would make each of those areas first tier. The categories include:
* Fan amenities, such as box suites, club seats, lounges and any other public areas, including elevators and escalators.
* Technical areas, such as scoreboards, lighting, sound, computer and emergency systems, as well "advertising infrastructure in, on and around the facilities."
* Revenue-generating facilities, such as food-preparation areas, shops, concession stalls and box offices.
* Behind-the-scenes areas related to the team, such as locker rooms, coaches' offices and training facilities.

The Post-Dispatch said if there's any good news in the lease for the CVC, it's that the number of seats and luxury suites are excluded from first-tier consideration. About 66,000 fans can now attend football games at the Dome, which boasts 120 luxury suites and 6,400 club seats. Those numbers aren't required to change.

Patrick Rishe, a sports economist at Webster University, said while the CVC might be able to satisfy some portions of the first-tier requirement, "I doubt very seriously that, without significant investment of let's say $200 to $300 million at least, the Edward Jones Dome could qualify overall."

When they agreed to the terms of the lease in the 1990s, civic leaders eager to bring a football team to St. Louis were acting out of a sense of urgency, recalled Freeman Bosley Jr., who was mayor at the time.

"We weren't negotiating from a position of strength," he said.

In 1994, after losing out on securing expansion teams to Charlotte and Jacksonville, St. Louis made a play to land the Rams, who were flirting with a move to Baltimore. Construction of what is now called the Edward Jones Dome was already under way.

During negotiations with St. Louis leaders, the Rams proposed the first-tier language. Bosley said officials discussed whether the clause was potentially problematic but decided it wasn't.

They believed Georgia Frontiere, the Rams owner at the time, and John Shaw, the team president, were committed to keeping the team in St. Louis.

The Dome was largely financed with $256 million in revenue bonds, and the repayment of that 30-year debt will be $720 million. Every year, Missouri spends $12 million to pay off the debt, and St. Louis and St. Louis County each pay $6 million annually. The county's portion is funded through a 3.5 percent hotel tax approved by voters in 1990.

The lease calls for the Rams to stay at the Dome through 2025 - but only if the stadium is first tier at two points: 2005 and 2015. The Rams waived the requirement the first time in exchange for $30 million in improvements. This time, there are a series of deadlines in 2012, starting with the CVC's mandate to deliver a plan by Feb. 1.

The Rams could counteroffer and would have until May 1 to do so. The two sides would go into arbitration if a deal isn't struck. Ultimately, if a deal is not reached, the Rams would be free to relocate after March 1, 2015.

February 2, 2012
Copyright 2012 MediaVentures

St. Louis, Mo. - The public agency that manages the Edward Jones Dome proposed a $124 million overhaul of the 16-year-old facility, while St. Louis city and county officials stressed that no new public money would go to the team without voter approval.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch said the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission delivered the plan to the St. Louis Rams, meeting a deadline and detailing improvements officials argue would make the stadium one of the best in pro football. The proposal asks the Rams to pay for slightly more than half the cost.

If accepted by the Rams, the CVC plan would:
* Hang a 96-foot wide and 26-foot high scoreboard over midfield that should give fans clear views of replays, scores and stats and not interfere with game play.
* Build a new, three-story structure on Baer Plaza that would be connected to the Dome via a bridge over Broadway. It would include a 20,000 square-foot lobby, a rooftop beer garden and a new entrance for fans headed to Dome's club seats and luxury suites.
* Install large glazed window panels that would allow more natural light inside the Dome, which critics have complained is too dark.
* Replace about 1,800 existing seats and four suites with 1,500 new club seats.
* Put retractable bollards on Broadway that would let CVC shut down the street to vehicle traffic and making it safer for fans to enter and leave the Dome. The CVC said this change also would address NFL concerns that the milling crowds outside of the Dome could be a terrorist target.

Also in the plan are aesthetic improvements to entrances, stairwells and corridors; updated locker rooms for cheerleaders and officials; and replacing the Dome's outdoor smoking area with a plaza that CVC President Kathleen "Kitty" Ratcliffe described as "kind of a tailgate area without the cars."

Kevin Demoff, executive vice president of football operations for the Rams, confirmed that the team had gotten the CVC proposal.

"The lease provides certain terms, a timeline and process for this matter," Demoff said. "We are reviewing the proposal and look forward to responding accordingly."

As the deadline for new negotiations approached, many have speculated that the Rams could relocate back to Los Angeles, where an effort to build a football stadium is well under way. Those worries were heightened again by recent news that Rams owner Stan Kroenke put in a bid to buy baseball's Los Angeles Dodgers.

A Missouri native, Kroenke made his fortune as a real estate developer. His wife, Ann Walton Kroenke, is the daughter of James "Bud" Walton, a co-founder of Wal-Mart. In addition to the Rams, Kroenke's sports holdings include professional basketball, hockey and soccer teams in Denver, as well as an English soccer team, the London-based Arsenal Football Club.

Under the plan, the Rams would fund about 52 percent of the improvements. Ratcliffe said that figure wasn't picked at random – it is the average contribution by NFL teams in recent new stadium construction and renovation projects.

The plan doesn't identify the source of the rest of money, nearly $60 million. Ratcliffe indicated that her agency would likely turn to the Dome's owner - the St. Louis Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority – or the three so-called government "sponsors" that paid to build the Dome.

The CVC did not make public a financial plan that the lease required it give to the Rams.

Jeff Rainford, Slay's chief of staff, and Jones said their bosses won't direct any new public money to the Dome without voter approval. Rainford said a vote of the people also would be needed to direct city amusement tax generated at the Dome – about $1.5 million per season - towards paying for the improvements.

The Dome originally was financed with $256 million in revenue bonds, and the repayment of that 30-year debt will be $720 million. Every year, Missouri spends $12 million to pay off the debt, and St. Louis and St. Louis County each pay $6 million annually.

The 30-year lease keep the Rams at the Dome through 2025, but it contains an escape clause that would let the team terminate the agreement if the Dome isn't a "first-tier" facility in 2015. Feb. 1 was the deadline for the CVC to present the Rams with an improvement plan for how it intends to meet that standard.

The Rams have until March 1 to accept or reject the CVC proposal, and until May 1 to make a counteroffer. The two sides would go into arbitration if a deal isn't struck by June 15. Without an agreement, the Rams would be free to relocate after March 1, 2015.

February 2, 2012
Copyright 2012 MediaVentures

St. Louis, Mo. - The Rams cannot play "home" games more than 4,000 miles away in London under the terms of its lease here, the public agency that runs the Edwards Jones Dome told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission contends that the Rams' plan to play one home game at London's Wembley Stadium each year for the next three seasons would violate the team's 30-year lease of the Dome.

A section of the lease calls for the team "to play all its home NFL Games (other than pre-season NFL Games) at the Facilities." The Rams can disregard this rule if the Dome is not in usable condition or if the lease has been terminated, according to that section of the lease.

The Rams announced recently that the team would play in London, starting with a game this year against the New England Patriots. All the games would be classified as Rams' home games, meaning the team would get a higher percentage of ticket receipts than the "visiting" NFL teams in the London games.

The games would be a financial boost for the Rams. NFL teams that have played in London have been guaranteed ticket revenue equivalent to a sellout, plus expenses.

Wembley Stadium seats 82,000, while the Dome seats 66,000. General admission tickets at the Dome ranged from $25 to $160 this season; prices for the Rams-Patriots game at Wembley will range from $70 to $155.

Rams owner Stan Kroenke, who also owns London's Arsenal soccer club, called the move "a tremendous honor for our franchise."

In its three-sentence statement, which was emailed to the Post-Dispatch, the CVC agreed with Kroenke's assessment, saying the game would "elevate an awareness of St. Louis on the global stage, much as the Saint Louis Symphony's upcoming (European) tour will do."

The statement continued: "That said, our lease with the Rams requires that the Rams play all their home games in the Edward Jones Dome. We immediately brought this to the Rams' attention and are awaiting their reply."

County executive Charlie Dooley's spokesman, Mac Scott, said his boss supports the commission's position on the London games.

"We agree with the CVC's understanding of the lease," Scott said. Jeff Rainford, the chief of staff for Slay, agreed.

"I think it's obvious that the Rams expect the CVC to adhere to the terms of the lease," Rainford said. "And I think it's reasonable for CVC to expect the Rams adhere to the lease."

New England owner Robert Kraft said recently that the team was unwilling to give up a home game at its stadium in Massachusetts, even if it meant getting a larger share of the receipts in London.

February 9, 2012
Copyright 2012 MediaVentures

St. Louis, Mo. - The money to renovate the Edward Jones Dome could come partly from higher fees for tickets and parking, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

Those are among the possible sources of public funding listed in a financial plan the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission has sent to the Rams. The plan is meant to explain how to pay for $124 million in renovations to the Dome.

It lists a ticket surcharge and the creation of a new parking district, with a vehicle surcharge, as options. The plan also lists bond refinancing, tax credits and tapping the reserves of the Dome's owner as other options.

The one-page financial plan, however, is short on specifics and does not list how much money each source of public funding would generate. It lists only the total they would bring in: $59.5 million.

The lack of specificity is highlighted by one of the listed sources: "Other City, County and State money as may be provided."

And at least one of the listed items - refinancing of bonds issued by the Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority to build the Dome - is not currently allowed, according to the authority's website.

The CVC, which manages the Dome for the authority, wants the Rams to pay for $64.5 million of the renovation costs.

The CVC released the document after a public records request from the Post-Dispatch. The CVC released its renovation plan, but declined to release the financial document, and St. Louis and St. Louis County officials also initially declined to discuss funding details.

Officials said they did not list specifics or dollar amounts because the document was not meant to be a detailed financial analysis. The idea was simply to show the Rams that there are a variety of public funding options available, they said.

"All of them might be used or some of them might be used," said Mike Jones, a senior policy adviser to St. Louis County Executive Charlie A. Dooley. "It's all going to depend on what improvements end up being made."

No decisions have been made on what area would make up the parking district, what the charges would be, and whether they would be levied only on game days or year-round. Also, no decisions have been made on how much a ticket surcharge would be. The city already charges a 5 percent amusement tax on Rams tickets.

Jeff Rainford, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay's chief of staff, pledged that proposals to levy new fees or taxes would go before city voters - if those proposals go beyond what is generated as part of the "game day experience."

"People who don't go to Rams games or take part in the NFL experience don't have to worry about being nicked for this without a vote of the people," he said. "They will not pay any more for this facility without a public discussion and a public vote."

Rainford also said a referendum would be needed if the city were to eliminate the 5 percent amusement tax or redirect the revenue to help pay for construction costs.

Dooley's office has similarly pledged to give voters final say on some issues.

The Dome, which opened in 1995, was largely financed with $256 million in revenue bonds, and the repayment of that 30-year debt will be $720 million. Every year, Missouri spends $12 million to pay off the debt, and St. Louis and St. Louis County each pay $6 million annually.

Highlights of the Dome renovation plan include adding large window panels and a 96-foot-wide video screen and scoreboard; building a three-story pavilion connected to the Dome via a bridge over Broadway; and replacing four luxury suites and 1,800 regular seats with 1,500 club seats. The CVC is required to come up with a plan that, by March 2014, would make the Dome a "first-tier" facility. The Rams have until March 1 to accept or reject the CVC plan, and until May 1 to make a counteroffer.

Many of the proposed improvements would increase revenue at the Dome, but the Rams - not the CVC – likely would reap the biggest rewards from those upgrades. That could be why the CVC wasn't shy in asking the team to front 52 percent of the bill, the newspaper speculated.

Under the terms of the lease, for example, the Rams keep all ticket receipts, so the team will benefit most from the addition of pricier club seats, the newspaper said.

The improvement plan would upgrade concession areas and increase food and beverage sales outside of the Dome. The lease gives the team all net revenue from concessions sold on game days.

On another front, the Rams and the CVC are finalizing an agreement on an NFL plan for the team to play two games in London next season. The CVC noted that home games outside the dome are not be allowed under the current lease.

The Rams are scheduled to play New England on Oct. 28 at Wembley Stadium. In an agreement announced late last month, the Rams are to play a regular-season home game in London in each of the next three seasons.

February 23, 2012
Copyright 2012 MediaVentures

The St. Louis Rams will be able to play a "home" game in England this year in exchange for boosting the number of weekends that the Edward Jones Dome can be booked for other uses during the football season. The team also agreed to pay temporary, game-day employees the hourly wages they would have earned at the Dome for the game against the New England Patriots, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. The agreement, which amends the Rams' lease at the Dome, was approved by the two public agencies that own and operate the building. It paves the way for the Rams to play the Patriots at London's Wembley Stadium on Oct. 28. The lease had previously mandated that the Rams play all home games at the Dome. A deal for games planned for 2013 and 2014 must still be worked out.

March 1, 2012
Copyright 2012 MediaVentures

March 1 is the deadline for the St. Louis Rams to respond to a $124 million proposal from the S. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission to upgrade the Edward Jones Dome. If the team rejects the plan, it must provide its ideas by May 1. If a deal can't be reached by June 15, the matter goes to arbitration. The plan was submitted because the lease requires that the commission keep the venue in the NFL's “first tier” and that the work be done by 2015.

March 8, 2012
Copyright 2012 MediaVentures

St. Louis, Mo. - The St. Louis Rams have two months to present its vision for the Edwards Jones Dome, facing a May 1 deadline to make a counteroffer after turning down a $124 million plan from the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission, according to the St. Louis Post- Dispatch.

The CVC, which manages the Dome, announced that the Rams had rejected the CVC plan to make the Dome "first tier" in 15 categories detailed in the building lease. If the Rams and CVC can't strike a deal, the team could walk away from the lease and leave St. Louis as early as 2015. Rams officials would not comment to the Post-Dispatch.

Jeff Rainford, chief of staff to St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, said the rejection letter was read to him over the phone and that it did not include any specific criticisms of the CVC plan. But the rejection, he said, wasn't much of a surprise.

"It was what I expected in both tone and substance," Rainford said. "They rejected (the plan) in a very professional manner."

The CVC had proposed adding new windows, club seats, a video scoreboard and a three-story structure on Baer Plaza that would serve as an entrance for fans in club seats and suites. It wanted the Rams to cover $64 million of the cost. The CVC plan did not specify exactly where the remaining $60 million would come from but listed higher fees for parking and tickets as one possibility.

Taken as a whole, the CVC plan lacked the grand scale of several recent NFL stadium rehabs, like the $375 million overhaul of Kansas City's Arrowhead Stadium or the $250 million renovation of Sun Life Stadium in Miami.

The CVC plan also called for the Rams to pay for 52 percent of the $124 million project. That's a bigger share than what was paid by NFL teams in recent, more expensive rehab projects in Kansas City, Chicago or New Orleans.

The CVC has said its proposed public-private split was determined by averaging the percentage of private funding for both new construction and major renovations at NFL stadiums since 2005.

So far, Rams officials haven't said whether they believe the team should pay for any "first tier" improvements, although that issue is expected to be addressed in the team's counteroffer.

The CVC will have until June 1 to consider the Rams' plan. If the CVC rejects it, the two sides would negotiate in meetings closed to the public, according to the lease. If no deal is reached by June 15, the matter would go into arbitration.

March 22, 2012
Copyright 2012 MediaVentures

Edward Jones, the Des Peres, Mo.-based financial services company, has secured naming rights for the Rams' stadium for at least the next 13 years. The facility will still be called the "Edward Jones Dome" after the company extended its naming-rights deal with the Rams until 2025. The name was set to expire in 2014. Edward Jones will pay the Rams $42.3 million over the course of the 11-year agreement, the company announced. The original, 12-year naming-rights term cost the company $32.7 million. In addition to the Dome's name, the deal includes prominent indoor and outdoor advertising at the facility. The Rams' lease at the Dome allows the team to keep the lion's share of all advertising generated at the venue, including naming rights.

April 5, 2012
Copyright 2012 MediaVentures

St. Louis, Mo. - As negotiations heat up over renovations to the Edward Jones Dome, a Missouri legislator wants to deliver a message to professional sports teams: If you're going to take state money, you should open your financial records to the public.

The St. Louis Post Dispatch said Rep. Jeanette Mott Oxford has introduced a bill that would require teams receiving state subsidies to make public an accounting of their expenses and revenue, as well as information about who owns the teams.

Oxford says the bill is not meant as a shot against the Rams, who are negotiating renovations to the Dome with the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission. She acknowledges the legislation faces an uphill fight but hopes to attach it as an amendment to another bill.

"Taxpayers have a right to know how profitable these companies are," Oxford said of pro sports teams.

A critic of public subsidies for sports teams, Oxford helped start Coalition Against Public Funding for Stadiums in 2001 to fight a plan to publicly finance construction of Busch Stadium. Fred Lindecke, who led that group, praised Oxford's bill, saying it would "have a chilling effect on any sports teams even asking for money because they'd have to tell the public stuff they don't want the public to know."

A spokesman for the Rams said he was unaware of Oxford's bill and would not comment on it.

May 10, 2012
Copyright 2012 MediaVentures

St. Louis, Mo. - Missouri's attorney general will released the Rams' proposal to upgrade the Edward Jones Dome despite the team's efforts to keep it secret.

Attorney General Chris Koster responded to a challenge by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that said the documents should become public.

The Convention and Visitors Commission, which owns the venue, have traded proposals on how to make the building a "first-tier" stadium. If the CVC can't meet that standard by 2015, the team could terminate the lease and move out of St. Louis.

The CVC, a public agency, contends that the Rams' May 1 renovation plan and other documents requested by the Post-Dispatch are not subject to the Missouri Sunshine Law, the state's open-records law. Last week, the matter went to court as the CVC and the news organization sued each other.

In a letter sent to St. Louis Circuit Judge Bryan Hettenbach, Koster and Patricia Churchill, who heads the attorney general's government affairs division, said that the state will release the documents Monday.

Hettenbach has been assigned to oversee the dispute between the CVC and the Post-Dispatch. Lawyers for the Rams and the CVC also were sent copies of Koster's letter.

The CVC maintains that - as a party to the Rams' lease - it legally is forbidden from making public any documents considered by the Rams to be confidential. If it does so, according the CVC, the Rams could use the disclosure as grounds to seek an immediate termination of the lease.

In the lease, the state is considered a "sponsor" of the Dome, along with the governments of St. Louis and St. Louis County. Every year since 2005, the three entities together pay off a $24 million chunk of the Dome's $720 million construction debt. Each of the governments also appoints commissioners to the CVC board.

Officials from city and county government have so far supported the CVC's decision to withhold the documents unless ordered to hand them over by Hettenbach.

While the state is a part-owner of the Dome, it is "not a party to the lease with the Rams," Ratcliffe said, adding that it isn't constrained by the lease's confidentiality provision.

Officials with the CVC had said earlier they would be happy to release the plan, but only with the Rams' OK. They initially cited a confidentiality clause in the Rams' lease for the Dome.

The Rams' plan is a counter to one presented by the CVC, which on Feb. 1 proposed $124 million in improvements. But that wasn't the only offer from the CVC.

Prior to presenting the renovation plan, the CVC had offered to reduce the Rams' lease at the Dome by five years, sources told the Post-Dispatch. That would have made the lease expire in 2020 instead of 2025.

In exchange, the CVC wanted the Rams to waive a requirement in the lease that the Dome be a "first-tier" facility in 15 categories, the sources said. That requirement is what triggered the current round of talks on the future of the Dome.

The Rams rejected both offers in a letter sent to the CVC on March 1, according to sources.

Asked about the lease-shortening offer, Kevin Demoff, the Rams' executive vice president for football operations, said, "Our lease sets forth the procedure to bring the Edward Jones Dome up to the first-tier standard." He declined to comment further.

The Rams also refused to release their Dome renovation plan.

"The process and procedure is confidential under the parties' agreements, and the Rams will continue to respect those confidentiality obligations," the team said in a statement.

The Rams' plan did not include a cost estimate, sources told the Post-Dispatch.

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