Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
    RamWraith is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Minnesota
    Age
    44
    Posts
    8,230
    Rep Power
    61

    Rams want new turf, more suites at Dome

    By R.B. Fallstrom
    Associated Press Sportswriter
    Friday, Oct. 01 2004

    At the end of this season Rams wide receiver Isaac Bruce will have played on
    the lightning-fast artificial turf at the Edward Jones Dome for a decade, and
    he has the unsightly turf burns to prove it.

    "They're not permanent," Bruce said, displaying various spots of discoloration
    on his arms. "They'll go away."

    So will the carpet-over-concrete field that most players hate, and soon, if the
    Rams have their way.

    The initial lease the Rams signed with the city, St. Louis County and the state
    of Missouri as part of their move from the West Coast in 1995 contained a
    provision that called for the deal to be revisited every 10 years. Each decade,
    the dome must be judged to be in the top 25 percent of NFL stadiums in several
    components, topped perhaps by the number and condition of suites and club
    seats, or else the lease reverts to a year-to-year proposition.

    Now is that time.

    The Convention and Visitors Commission, the landlord of the building, and the
    stadium authority are in the process of completing $4-5 million in improvements
    to the dome's 120 suites, according to Bruce Sommer, director of the America's
    Center. That's not enough for the Rams, who want perhaps 60 more suites in
    addition to a new playing surface.

    There's virtually no danger of the Rams leveraging the terms of the lease for
    another move. Both sides report no animosity in discussions. The Rams say
    simply that they want the best facility possible.

    "I don't think anybody has that interest," Sommer said of a possible departure.
    "I don't believe they have an interest in leaving and we sure don't have an
    interest in them leaving."

    The Rams have become entrenched in what has long been described as a baseball
    town. Since they arrived, every regular-season game has been sold out.

    "This is not an escape clause," said Bob Wallace, the Rams' executive vice
    president and general counsel.

    What it is, Wallace said, is smart business.

    "It's not that you dictate terms," Wallace said. "One of the things everybody
    was trying to do, and it was clearly the intention of the Rams and I think of
    the negotiating parties of St. Louis, was they didn't want to build a beautiful
    building and then have it fall into disrepair."

    Wallace said Busch Stadium, the Cardinals' 38-year-old well-maintained stadium
    just across downtown, is an example of forward-thinking stadium management.
    Busch was among a number of so-called cookie-cutter facilities opened in the
    1960s, and it's the last one still standing - although next season will be its
    last - because the team's new ownership has been diligent on upkeep along with
    cosmetic upgrades such as a hand-operated scoreboard.

    The biggest problem for the dome landlords is that 17 new stadiums, counting
    the renovation of Lambeau Field in Green Bay, have opened since the Rams beat
    the Carolina Panthers 28-17 on Nov. 12, 1995, before 65,598 in the inaugural
    game at the $300 million dome. In other words, the standards just keep going
    up.

    "They have a preservation fund, they knew they were going to have to keep the
    stadium in repair," Wallace said. "But I don't know if anybody contemplated
    that much of a change that quickly."

    Topping the Rams' wish list is a desire for perhaps 60 more luxury suites that
    could be installed in the now little-utilized north end zone. Presently, that
    area is used as an auxiliary press box but it was mentioned in the original
    lease as a location for potential improvements.

    The Rams also have issues with the seating capacity of the dome - about 5,000
    shy of NFL standards even back in 1995. And Wallace said the size of the dome
    itself and its concourses is not "top tier," although there's little that can
    be done with that now.

    "In this period of time," Wallace said, "we're not even going to raise that
    issue."

    Under terms of the lease, the improvements must be completed by March 31,
    although the Rams have given approval to an extension to July 31. The
    Convention and Visitors Commission would like the deadline to be delayed
    further to 2007, and Wallace said the Rams are willing to wait till then.

    Replacing the turf would be the biggest thing players would notice. The Rams
    have a forgiving practice field at Rams Park, constructed of rubber shavings,
    and they'd like one installed at the dome. St. Louis and Indianapolis are
    presently the only NFL teams still using the old, unforgiving, artificial turf.


    "You pay a price for playing on it," Bruce said. "If they get rid of it I'd
    like to have a piece of it to take home with me. But I like the new stuff.


    "You don't have the same feeling after you play on artificial turf."

    The sticking point is an item in the lease that stipulates the grass does not
    have to be changed because it would hinder the dome's ability to hold
    conventions and trade shows. While the Rams are on the road the next two weeks
    Ace Hardware is holding its national convention at the dome.

    The problem is protecting the field when the Rams aren't in town. Artificial
    turf can be rolled up and so-called field turf cannot under present technology.


    Thus far, Sommer said the Rams haven't asked for a new field.

    "They've mentioned it, but we haven't dealt with the issue," Sommer said. "I'm
    sure there are other things we're going to do, but all we know for sure is what
    we have now."

    It's likely the field demand will be issued soon.

    "The playing field is a big issue," Wallace said. "We want to replace it and we
    think it's a big issue for a competitive reason as well. That's a hard surface,
    I think it's terrible, and that's something we would like addressed for next
    season."


  2. #2
    Shadesofgrey's Avatar
    Shadesofgrey is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Bakersfield
    Age
    41
    Posts
    248
    Rep Power
    11

    Re: Rams want new turf, more suites at Dome

    When we took our football to team to scrimmage Hart in Valencia, CA the stadium they played at had the new rubber turf...really cool stuff...and still faster than regular SOD

  3. #3
    afrightertoo's Avatar
    afrightertoo is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    The State of the Union
    Age
    30
    Posts
    85
    Rep Power
    0

    Re: Rams want new turf, more suites at Dome

    Quote Originally Posted by R.B. Fallstrom
    Associated Press Sportswriter
    Friday, Oct. 01 2004

    "The playing field is a big issue," Bob Wallace, Rams VP & General Counsel, said. "We want to replace it and we think it's a big issue for a competitive reason as well. That's a hard surface, I think it's terrible, and that's something we would like addressed for next season."
    This is excellant news from the Front Office. Regardless of how some might think it could adversely impact the speed of the Rams' game, getting rid of the old form of artificial turf is a Best Management Practice.

  4. #4
    viper's Avatar
    viper is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Vancouver, Washington
    Age
    53
    Posts
    1,679
    Rep Power
    26

    Re: Rams want new turf, more suites at Dome

    Quote Originally Posted by afrightertoo
    This is excellant news from the Front Office. Regardless of how some might think it could adversely impact the speed of the Rams' game, getting rid of the old form of artificial turf is a Best Management Practice.

    Agreed...take care of the players first!

Similar Threads

  1. Rams Trivia - Share What You Know
    By AlphaRam in forum RAM TALK
    Replies: 165
    Last Post: -11-11-2009, 08:22 PM
  2. RamView, 12/11/2006: Bears 42, Rams 27 (Long)
    By MFranke in forum RAM TALK
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: -12-13-2006, 11:53 PM
  3. RamView, 11/26/2006: Rams 20, ***** 17 (Long)
    By MFranke in forum RAM TALK
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: -11-27-2006, 05:25 PM
  4. Jeff Gordon's Game-Day Blog
    By Nick in forum RAM TALK
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: -09-10-2006, 04:29 PM
  5. Rams Brain Trust Faces Early Test
    By RamDez in forum RAM TALK
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: -02-19-2005, 04:58 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •