The Rams and the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission currently are engaged in a back-and-forth regarding upgrades that will be made to the Edward Jones Dome in order to persuade the Rams to not leave after the 2014.
The involvement of a public body makes the documents subject to open records laws, and so on Monday the Missouri Attorney General opened up the records. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has the details, which include an “operable roof panel,” which is something other than a retractable roof. (Apparently, it’s a device for allowing more natural light into the covered venue.) The Rams also want the stadium to have the capacity to expand its capacity, in the apparent hopes of luring a Super Bowl to St. Louis.
The laundry list omits cost estimates, and makes no mention of the team’s contribution, if any, to the various upgrades.
For now, the team is contributing nothing by way of comment.
“The Rams lease with the CVC requires that on March 1, 2015 the Edward Jones Dome and specified components of the stadium rank among the First Tier of NFL stadiums. First Tier is defined as among the Top 8 NFL stadiums,” team COO Kevin Demoff said in a statement released by the team. “In accordance with the lease, the Rams submitted on April 30th the Rams 2012 Plans to bring the Edward Jones Dome up to the First Tier standard. The First Tier process and procedure is confidential under the parties’ agreements. The Rams will continue to respect those confidentiality obligations and will not comment on the Rams’ plans or the process we are following.”
Regardless of the team’s intentions, their coy, shrewd approach to the negotiations will do nothing to create a sense that the Rams plan to remain in St. Louis. Instead, an objective observer easily could conclude that the Rams are laying the foundation for an eventual — and permanent — road trip.