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Thread: Rams' Dome-Rehab Plan Includes Sliding Roof

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    Rams' Dome-Rehab Plan Includes Sliding Roof

    Rams' dome-rehab plan includes sliding roof, rebuilt Broadway side

    BY MATTHEW HATHAWAY
    Monday, May 14, 2012

    The St. Louis Rams’ vision for the Edward Jones Dome includes a significant expansion and the addition of an "operable roof panel" that could be opened to allow more natural light during game days, according to a renovation plan the franchise sent to the public agency that operates the Dome.

    Although the plan attaches no dollar amount to the improvements, sources familiar with the plans say the cost could range from $500 million to $750 million. The latest crop of new National Football League stadiums have costs close to $1 billion or more.

    The roof would not be fully retractable, at least not in the way that most fans understand the term. Instead, an angled portion of the new roof would slide away to reveal more daylight.

    A more significant change would require the eastern half of the Dome be demolished and rebuilt over an expanded footprint that would include what is now a section of Broadway and a nearby plaza.

    The new east section would include much larger concourses, as well enhanced seating, lobbies and entrances. Two so called "party platforms" — located close to the end zones — would allow for additional, temporary seating.

    Many of those areas would be open to natural light as well, thanks to a glass curtain wall that would make up much of the Dome's new east facade.

    Critics of the Dome have complained that the facility is too dark and that it can be difficult to enter and exit. The Rams' plan would address both concerns. The roof panel and the curtain wall would bring more bring more light inside, and the newly built half of the Dome would include larger entrances at the northeast and southeast corners.

    In addition, there would be an entrance in the middle of the eastern facade. Currently, only members of the media and special-needs customers are allowed to enter on the east Broadway side.

    The plan also would reconfigure existing seating to allow more flexibility for non-football events, including NCAA basketball games and international soccer matches. (Rams owner Stan Kroenke also owns an English soccer team, the London-based Arsenal Football Club.)

    Stadium capacity would remain the same -- about 66,000 -- but the Dome would include spaces where additional, temporary seats could be installed.

    "The facility design should allow the seating bowl to be economically expanded to accommodate a Super Bowl event," according to the plan. "A minimum of 6,000 additional seats will be required to meet the NFL requirements."

    The April 30 plan was a closely guarded secret until this morning, when it was made public by the office of Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster. The plan is a counter proposal to a Feb. 1 plan put forward by the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission, the public agency that operates the Dome.

    The plan does not appear to include cost estimates for the extensive upgrades detailed in the plan, nor does it seem to indicate how much, if any, the Rams would be willing to contribute to the project’s financing.

    Kevin Demoff, the Rams' vice president for football operations, wrote a cover letter that accompanied the plan. The plan is "presented in sufficient detail to permit the CVC to price improvements" before the commission's June 1 deadline to accept or reject the proposal, Demoff wrote in the letter.

    The Rams are in the 17th year of a 30-year lease of the Dome that’s set to expire in 2025. However, an escape clause puts a heavy burden on the CVC, which also runs the America’s Center convention hall that’s attached to the Dome.

    According to the lease, the Rams are free to terminate the lease as early as 2015 if the CVC fails to keep the Dome a “first-tier” stadium, or one that’s better than three-quarters of all NFL venues in 15 categories. If the Rams and the CVC can’t agree on a renovation plan satisfying the lease requirement by June 15, the matter goes into arbitration.

    In a statement, Demoff said the team's lease of the Dome requires confidentiality. "The Rams will continue to respect those confidentiality obligations and will not comment on the Rams’ plans or the process we are following," he said.

    On Feb. 1, the CVC unveiled its $124 million plan to overhaul the Dome. The Rams rejected it, and delivered a counter-proposal to the commission on May 1. Citing a confidentiality provision in the franchise’s lease, both the CVC and the team would not make the Rams’ plan public.

    In its plan, 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.

    Brian Hall, the CVC's chief marketing officer, said the commission would not comment on the Rams' plan. "We're reviewing the proposal and we're going to get back to them by June 1," he said.

    Marc Ganis, a sports consultant who helped negotiate the lease on behalf of the Rams, said the plan unveiled today is one that comes as close as possible to satisfying the first-tier language without building a new facility from scratch.

    "This appears to be a logical, feasible plan that's meant to get a positive result," said Ganis, president of the Chicago-based SportsCorp Ltd., consulting firm. "This isn't a pie-in-the-sky plan designed to get to an impasse... It looks to me like a sincere effort to get a deal done."

    Ganis, who said he has no current business relationship with the Rams or the CVC, said the Rams' plan is well-suited to the Dome's location. It's not a cookie-cutter design plan, he said, and it would create "an iconic facility" for far less than the cost of building from scratch.

    "This results in a really good and modern football stadium that's pretty much on the same footprint of the original," Ganis said. "A new stadium is going to cost well over $1 billion. This looks like it would be roughly half of what a new stadium would cost."

    The secrecy surrounding the “first-tier” process became a legal dispute this month, after the CVC and the Post-Dispatch filed lawsuits against each other.

    The Post-Dispatch contends that the Rams’ proposal -- as well as other Dome-related documents -- are subject to the Missouri Sunshine Law, the state’s open-records law for governments and public agencies like the CVC. The commission maintains that the requested documents are exempt from the law.

    The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Bryan Hettenbach.

    The Rams sent the Missouri Office of Administration a copy of the Rams’ plan because the state is a part-owner of the Dome. The state is not subject to the lease’s confidentiality provision, according to the CVC, and it was therefore free to make the plan public.

    The Dome, which opened in 1995, was largely financed with $256 million in 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.


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    Re: Rams' Dome-Rehab Plan Includes Sliding Roof

    I'd say that the two initial offers are as wide as you can expect them to be. 500-700M as opposed to 124m, although the Rams didnt specify the split of costs in there proposal.

    Also read that the convention centre would be closed for the duration of the rebuild, losing further untold millions in revenue for the CVC. Makes for an even harder sell.

    Hope it all works out in the end for Team and City as i hope they stay.

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    Re: Rams' Dome-Rehab Plan Includes Sliding Roof

    Quote Originally Posted by Ram Mar Ram View Post
    I'd say that the two initial offers are as wide as you can expect them to be. 500-700M as opposed to 124m, although the Rams didnt specify the split of costs in there proposal.
    Neither side put forth a proposal they weren't willing to move on. Hopefully both sides set their numbers at something they know they can meet in the middle on.

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    Re: Rams' Dome-Rehab Plan Includes Sliding Roof

    I honestly dont find this proposal unresonable in the slightest. A new stadium in Minnesota just cost 970+million. A new stadium for the 9ers is going to cost over a billion. I think these are fair expectations if there is ANY chance that the Dome will be a "top tier" facility by 2015.
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    Re: Rams' Dome-Rehab Plan Includes Sliding Roof

    dare I?... Name:  other_deadHorseBeating.gif
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    LA RAMMER

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    Re: Rams' Dome-Rehab Plan Includes Sliding Roof

    Quote Originally Posted by THOLTFAN81 View Post
    I honestly dont find this proposal unresonable in the slightest. A new stadium in Minnesota just cost 970+million. A new stadium for the 9ers is going to cost over a billion. I think these are fair expectations if there is ANY chance that the Dome will be a "top tier" facility by 2015.
    I agree. This would also head-off any new stadium talk in 10 years. If STL wants the Rams for the long-haul, I'd say this would do it. Accepting the Rams' proposal would likely lock the team into STL for 25 - 30 years. I think this is what Mr Kroenke is trying to do. He's gauging the city's committment to the club and the NFL. If a deal can be struck to build/renovate, he'll feel confident enough with the revenue generation to stay i STL. If a deal can't be worked out, I think the team will be looking to move. I want what's best for my team. Revenue is important to future viability.
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    Re: Rams' Dome-Rehab Plan Includes Sliding Roof

    Counting the costs and the lost business, why is a new stadium not the best option?

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    Re: Rams' Dome-Rehab Plan Includes Sliding Roof

    I will say looking through the proposal nothing jumps out at me as unusual, other than the dome would be gone & the City of St Louis & the Rams would have a beautiful NFL Stadium. Of course this will be up to the City & the State to decide if this is the kind of monies they want to invest into the future of St Louis & the Rams.
    I would be curious on how this would impact the local economy downtown while the renovation takes place.Being a small business owner myself this could be devastating for some. I know in the end it would flourish, but 2-3 years will definitely wipe out some small businesses.

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    Re: Rams' Dome-Rehab Plan Includes Sliding Roof

    Quote Originally Posted by Vis View Post
    Counting the costs and the lost business, why is a new stadium not the best option?
    A new stadium would need to be in a new location, and it was a hard and nasty fight to get the current one built downtown. With the growth around earth City, that is probably no longer an option. I personally think the former Chrystler plant would be the best location, but I don't think the City of St. Louis wants the stadium to be that far away from downtown. The only other viable locations would be outside St. Louis county, which would also be unacceptable to the politicians trying to make themselves look good. A remodel is probably the only thing they would accept.


    gap

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    Re: Rams' Dome-Rehab Plan Includes Sliding Roof

    In this age of billion dollar stadiums, the Rams proposal seems pretty reasonable given the "top tier" requirement. Just my opinion, but at this point, Stan looks to be more serious about keeping the Rams in St. Louis than the city does.
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    Re: Rams' Dome-Rehab Plan Includes Sliding Roof

    sorry if this has been posted and also sorry for a link but theres a gallery of pictures of the upgrades:
    St. Louis Rams Proposal For Edward Jones Dome Upgrade « Photo Galleries « CBS St. Louis

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