Before the Rams could ever walk away from their lease in St. Louis, the Convention and Visitors Commission would have to refuse to make the improvements required to put the Edward Jones Dome in the top 25 percent of all stadiums.
And before the CVC can refuse to make the improvements, a panel of three neutral arbitrators must decide what those improvements are.
That process finally began today, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. And the three arbitrators specifically will be charged with selecting the team’s proposal, the CVC’s proposal, or coming up with some other plan for providing the kind of upgrade that the Rams were promised when they moved from Los Angeles in 1995.
But even if a deal can’t be reached to improve the Edward Jones Dome, the Rams could still remain in St. Louis. Per the Dispatch, the Rams want to stay in the area, even if they don’t believe in the long-term viability of their current home.
And so the end result could be the Rams leaving the Edward Jones Dome not to go to Los Angeles or anywhere else, but to move into a new venue in or around St. Louis.
Regardless of how it turns out, the deal the Rams got to move to Missouri makes a significant promise about the quality of their stadium, and the CVC soon will have to decide whether to honor that vow or to give the Rams the year-to-year ability to not continue playing in the Edward Jones Domes.
Until it all gets resolved, there’s good reason for Rams fans in St. Louis to be nervous. And there’s good reason for Rams fans in Los Angeles (specifically, the guys who used to wear watermelons on their heads) to be hopeful.