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  • Edward jones outdated??

    Caught this article on thought it was interesting...

    The first NFL game I covered was at the Edward Jones Dome, the Minnesota Vikings versus the host St. Louis Rams, the 2000 playoffs. Back then, it was known as the TWA Dome, and man, it was loud. One of the newest stadiums in the league, opened in 1995, it was designed to maximize walls of noise stacked like bricks, a raving loony bin of overdubbed screams and claps and stomps. Best home-field advantage in the league, it was called.
    The Ed still is a new stadium, but not new enough, not by NFL standards. Next year, it'll rank in the oldest one-third of NFL stadiums. The boom of new venues has turned a building that was supposed to last 30 years into one that needed $30 million in renovations this past offseason. With a lease that states the Rams must be in the league's upper 25 percent in stadium revenue or they can opt out, it's no secret the Rams' eyes are roaming.

    A new home, with more and bigger luxury boxes, more club seats and more concessions -- similar to what the Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins, New York Jets and New York Giants enjoy -- might be the only way to keep the team in St. Louis.

    Unlike old stadiums that underwent face-lifts, like Lambeau Field and Soldier Field, the Ed is so new it's not worth saving.

    "There's this disposability that's part of our consumer culture that seems particularly bizarre when you're talking about stadiums," says Oregon State English professor Michael Oriard, who played for the Kansas City Chiefs in the '70s and recently wrote "Brand NFL: Making and Selling America's Favorite Sport."

    "There's something perverse about making so much money and needing even more yet."

    So how does a stadium transform in nine years from the toughest place to play to outdated? Football doesn't change. The field's dimensions remain the same. Games still last 60 minutes. So to squeeze more money from football, owners change the structures that surround it. And when you have the Cowboys collecting $327 million last year, compared to the Rams' $206 million and the Vikings' $195 million, the new breed of NFL owners -- many of whom manage teams daily -- want spectacular venues.

    Things used to be different. The league's first owners, guys like Art Rooney and George Halas, were not billionaires. A franchise was a long-term investment. Later came richer men, like Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson, Tennessee Titans owner Bud Adams and former Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt, who owned teams but made their real money elsewhere. Dallas' Jerry Jones and Washington's Dan Snyder have made trendy the notion that football is an endless daily revenue stream.

    "Owning a team is no longer a mom-and-pop operation, and it's no longer a rich playboy operation," Oriard says. "It's for capitalists."

    Those capitalists are critical of their peers who don't squeeze every possible dollar out of their stadiums. Shrewd businessmen like Jones roll their eyes when smaller-market guys like Cincinnati Bengals owner Mike Brown and Wilson complain about revenue sharing -- after all, they don't even license their stadium names. Better to be likeNew England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who last year opened Patriots Place, an outdoor mall surrounding Gillette Stadium.

    "A new stadium has the opportunity for inventory that doesn't exist," one team exec says. "It's part of the experience of being in a new venue."

    But the fact that Ralph Wilson Stadium and Arrowhead Stadium are dumpy is what makes them cool. You're purposefully experiencing old. Your father used to sit in those seats. Once an owner trades the value of the old experience, he or she is locked into the latest trends. And that's dangerous. That's when you end up like the Rams.

    Sounds scary, but there's going to be a day, sooner than you think, when the $1.2 billion Cowboys Stadium seems old. When a team has a larger, newer stadium, with a more expensive HD screen than Jones' $40 million one -- and one that won't get hit by punts. And it'll continue after that.

    Trends always get old. But rooting for a winner -- what those Rams fans were doing in 2000 -- doesn't.

    What made the TWA Dome alive was that the team was headed to the Super Bowl. Rams fans are more tired of guard Richie Incognito's personal foul penalties than they are of the Ed.

    How's a billion-dollar stadium going to fix a loser better than, say, a great GM?

    Seth Wickersham is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine and a columnist for

Related Topics


  • RamWraith
    New venues put city on notice for keeping Rams
    by RamWraith
    By Bill Coats

    If St. Louis intends to meet its lease agreement by providing the Rams with a venue that ranks in the top 25 percent of the NFL by 2015, the city and the taxpayers must commit to building a state-of-the-art stadium. One in which the cost could hit 10 figures.

    So says Convention and Visitors Commission Chairman Dan Dierdorf publicly, as do several other principals privately.

    The NFL stadiums under construction in Indianapolis; Arlington, Texas; and East Rutherford, N.J., are "going to be the cream of the crop, and they're going to be no more than five or six years old" by 2015, Dierdorf said. "What do you do to a 20-year-old building to make it the equal of a brand-new $1 billion stadium?"

    In 1995, the $281 million downtown dome now known as the Edward Jones Dome was at the cutting edge of stadium technology, as well as an integral part of a new convention center. Today, it's rapidly becoming antiquated in an era of new stadiums around the league.

    The dome is undergoing $30 million in upgrades, including new video boards and an as-yet-undetermined way of getting more sunlight into the building. Those slightly tardy improvements will satisfy requirements to keep the dome in the top tier at the first 10-year segment of the 30-year lease.

    Still, it appears that no amount of renovation, no matter how extravagant and expensive, could turn the dome into one of the top eight stadiums in the 32-team league by 2015, the 20th anniversary. If it isn't, the lease will be broken and the team will be free to consider moving.

    That issue has gained new traction since the death in January of team owner Georgia Frontiere. Her son, Chip Rosenbloom, a Hollywood filmmaker, is the Rams' new managing partner and has vowed to keep the team here. Still, he acknowledged recently that he has "been approached by several people" inquiring about the team's availability.


    The newest NFL venues now under construction will be the 18th, 19th and 20th stadiums built since the Rams moved here from Los Angeles in '95. Several other stadiums have undergone significant renovation, some costing hundreds of millions of dollars, during that span.

    "I don't think anybody could've imagined that the boom in stadium development would've happened," said Bob Wallace, the Rams' executive vice president and general counsel. "And you have to also remember that this stadium was designed in 1987, eight years before it was (completed). So it's 21 years old in terms of technology and innovation."

    When the new stadiums go up, decisions must be made as to what happens with the old ones. In Indianapolis, the RCA Dome will be torn down and the space used to expand the city's convention center....
    -05-30-2008, 10:59 AM
  • r8rh8rmike
    Burwell: St. Louis Needs To Look At The Big Picture
    by r8rh8rmike
    Burwell: St. Louis needs to look at the big picture

    BY BRYAN BURWELL, Post-Dispatch Sports Columnistl
    Tuesday, May 15, 2012

    There are plenty of headlines and stories that should spring out from Monday's public unveiling of the Rams' vision for renovating the outdated Edward Jones Dome. But this is the one that deserves top billing in giant boldfaced type.

    We now have undisputed evidence that Stan Kroenke really wants to keep the Rams in St. Louis.

    You won't find that wording in any of the 39-page plan that was submitted to the city by the Rams owner's negotiating team. But it's right there in plain sight, if you are fluent in the language of between-the-lines intimations. And if you didn't see it, you're probably just too busy being distracted by all the pretty illustrations, fretting over the preliminary price estimates or part of the shortsighted anti-stadium crowd that won't be happy until we're living in a pro sports-free ghost town.

    So allow me to decipher this for you. Look very carefully at the plan. It is not an over-the-top, ostentatious, football-only counteroffer that attempts to thrust the Dome to the very top of the National Football League's most extravagant stadiums. It's not an outrageous plan that feels like the sort of crazy counteroffer whose sole intent is to blow up the entire process, thus allowing Kroenke to scoot off to Los Angeles as quickly as possible.

    What the Rams have put in front of us is a design whose intent is to make the Edward Jones Dome something that works for all of St. Louis, not just the football team.

    If Kroenke was trying to force the Convention and Visitors Commission to storm away from the negotiating table, then this was a horrible attempt at doing that. What he did was submit a plan that fulfills its primary objective, which is to get the Dome into the NFL's "top-tier" facilities. By definition, the "top-tier" would have to be one of the best eight stadiums in the NFL. And if you scrutinize the Rams' plans and compare it to other current or planned stadiums around the league, the best estimate is that a rehabbed Edward Jones Dome would most likely be right around the sixth- or seventh-best facility.

    Since 2002, three NFL stadiums have been renovated and eight others have been or are being built, ranging in price from a low of $336 million for a five-year renovation project for the New Orleans Superdome to the big-ticket constructions of the San Francisco *****' new stadium that just broke ground ($1.2 billion) to the stadium for the Jets and Giants in the New Jersey Meadowlands that topped $1.7 billion in 2010.

    The best estimates on the cost for the Rams' renovation plans are somewhere from $500 million to $700 million. By comparison, new construction costs for stadiums have changed dramatically over the past 10 years. Average cost...
    -05-15-2012, 09:36 AM
  • MauiRam
    Rams must win before asking fans to foot stadium bill
    by MauiRam
    By Bryan Burwell

    We all know where this is going. We all know where this eventually will lead. Everything about the future of the St. Louis Rams, both short term and long term, leads us directly to the Edward Jones Dome.

    This is the crossroads where everything intersects hopes and fears, dreams and wishes, victories and failures, political and social choices, the disturbing past, the unsettling present and the tenuous future. All the answers are inside those walls of the big brick playground on Broadway.

    Contractually, the Rams are eventually going to need a new stadium or at a bare minimum a wildly upgraded current one if St. Louis hopes to keep Rams ownership from at least a predictable serious flirtation with another city. How well this city deals with the stadium issue will provide us with the answer to whether yet another NFL franchise will be bolting the Mississippi riverfront and heading off to another city. That's a fact, not a debate. It's something everyone knows, but no one really wants to talk about because quite frankly, we're all afraid of the potential answers.

    Between now and 2014, the dome will be so far behind the rest of pro football's other state-of-the-art stadiums that there's no way the city's convention authority will be able to meet the terms of the lease agreement that the Edward Jones Dome be among the top eight NFL facilities by 2015.

    People in St. Louis probably don't like that idea even a little bit, because they know at the end of that conversation, there will be a big fat tax bill with their names on it. But that was part of the deal when St. Louis lured the Rams away from Los Angeles. The city and that means all of us made a promise that it's being asked not so subtly to keep.

    So it's time for a home improvement loan or a brand-new house. Either choice is going to hurt. Either way, there's a monstrous price tag. You know what the going rate for new stadiums is, and the cost for sprucing up a charming little fixer-upper like the Dome isn't any easier to cope with, either. It's going to hurt, and one way or the other, the price is going to be steep. Keep the Rams and shell out more money, or lose them and never expect another NFL team to enter the city's borders again.

    That vote is going to come sooner or later, and I'm not telling anyone what they should do with their tax dollars at this point, particularly in a struggling economy when it takes $50 to fill up a Yugo.

    But I do know this. If the Rams ownership really is committed to staying here, and they are truly intent on holding the city to the terms of the lease (trust me folks, they are), then it's incumbent on them to give the fan base a product worth supporting. Dallas Cowboys boss Jerry Jones understood that before he got up the gumption to build his gargantuan $900 million palace...
    -05-25-2008, 03:26 AM
  • r8rh8rmike
    Planners Announce Open-Air, Riverfront NFL Stadium
    by r8rh8rmike
    Planners announce open-air, riverfront NFL stadium

    click to enlarge

    45 minutes ago By David Hunn

    Dave Peacock announced plans Friday for a new open air football stadium on the St. Louis riverfront.

    "This is about the future and that we need to fight for what it rightfully ours," Peacock said.

    The facility would feature 64,000 seats, with 7,500 club seats. Financing the project, he said, would involve public and private money, as well as seat licenses paid by fans.

    "There are ways to source public financing and do it with the same or less burden on the taxpayers," Peacock said.

    Gov. Jay Nixon appointed Peacock, former Anheuser Busch president, and Edward Jones dome attorney Bob Blitz to develop a plan to keep professional football in St. Louis.

    The new stadium would also accommodate soccer.

    Peacock called the project more than a football stadium: "We are talking about a revitalization of our downtown."

    Details of financing the $860 million to $985 million estimated cost are included in the report he turned over to Nixon. An estimated $400 million to $450 million would come from the National Football League and the team. An additional $460 million to $535 million would come from public sources, including extending current bonds, brownfield tax credits and up to $130 million in seat licenses.

    "Our vision is a redevelopment of the North Riverfront. There's green area, there's trailways, there's pathways."

    Site preparation would begin by June, according to the plan. The stadium would open for the 2020 NFL season.

    Peacock said the plan would eradicate blight and turn the area into a crown jewel. Thirty-three buildlings are in the project area, and a majority are vacant, he said. The city owns one-fourth of the land. The plan preserves the 1902 Power and Light Building.

    Redevelopment of this area is imperative for the health of the St. Louis community, he said.

    Interest rates are pretty low right now. "If you're going to do something, now is sort of the time to do it; money is a little cheaper. We see a healthy sense of urgency behind this project."

    HOK here and 360 Architecture in Kansas City worked on the design, he said.

    Bob Blitz recalled that in the 1990s St. Louis built a stadium without a football team. Now, it has a team, with an "obsolete" stadium, Blitz said.

    The current Edward Jones Dome would become "a competitive asset to use" to attract conventions, Peacock said.

    Come back to for more on this story.

    Previous story:

    ST. LOUIS Details of the plan for a new downtown football stadium here are expected to be announced Friday.

    -01-09-2015, 11:58 AM
  • MauiRam
    Mike Sando: Rams on stadium clock? Make it a sun dial ..
    by MauiRam
    By Mike Sando |

    Minnesota Vikings fans can finally exhale after their team secured funding for a new stadium.

    Next up in the stadium game: the St. Louis Rams.

    Pull up a chair. This could take a while.

    The Vikings needed years to get the job done. Rams owner Stan Kroenke isn't one to rush. He waited til the last minute before exercising his option to purchase a majority stake in the team. He has resisted showing any cards in the Rams' push for an improved stadium situation. And there is a process to follow, anyway.

    The Rams' lease requires the St. Louis stadium authority to provide a first-tier facility by 2015. The Edward Jones Dome is not close to first tier by NFL standards. It's debatable whether a re-design could meet the Rams' likely demands without the project becoming cost-prohibitive.

    In the meantime, the Rams have rejected the stadium authority's offer as a matter of course. The stadium authority is expected to reject the Rams' counter proposal. Once that happens, an arbitrator will begin deciding what constitutes a reasonable upgrade. That process, scheduled to begin June 15 and conclude before 2013, would produce a compromise proposal for the city to accept or reject.

    If the city accepts, the Rams would be bound to the proposal, keeping in place their lease through 2025. If the city rejects the arbitrator's proposal, the Rams would be free to consider their options in St. Louis or elsewhere beginning in March 2015.

    The price tag for new stadiums is around $1 billion. Spending $900 million on upgrades would make no sense. What about $800 million or $700 million or $600 million? Where is the cutoff and where would the money come from? These are not minor details.

    The Kansas City Chiefs upgraded Arrowhead Stadium for $375 million, with the Hunt family's ownership covering $125 million of that total. Upgrading the Edward Jones Dome to the Rams' liking could cost more. There's a roof to consider, and also the time factor. The Chiefs' upgrades took place five years ago.

    Also, the Hunt's connection to Kansas City was strong and emotional. The Chiefs weren't going anywhere, realistically, but the Rams' roots in Missouri aren't as deep. And if St. Louis rejects what an arbitrator considers reasonable, the Rams will be one step closer to the door.

    We'll have a marginally better idea where the St. Louis situation stands once officials release upgrade proposals Monday in compliance with public-records laws. Those proposals probably will not include detailed cost projections. We'll be left to project.

    Stadium games usually reduce to how far a citizenry will go to keep its team from bolting. It's tough to envision Rams fans stepping up the way Vikings fans did in Minnesota, not after the Rams posted a 15-65 record over the past five seasons. Have the Rams built up...
    -05-10-2012, 08:56 PM