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Rams win stadium arbitration

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The mayor’s office calls it only a step in a broader process, but the Rams have now moved one giant leap closer to possibly bounding out of St. Louis.

A panel of three arbitrators have agreed that only the upgrades to the Edward Jones Dome proposed by the Rams will put the stadium among first tier of all NFL stadiums.

The lease agreement signed by the Rams in 1995 guarantees that, by 2015, the stadium will be among the top 25 percent in the league.  With the parties unable to agree on a plan for making that happen, arbitration was used to determine whether the Rams’ proposal (which would cost more than $700 million), the Convention and Visitors Commission’s proposal (which would cost $124 million), or some other possibility in between would push the stadium into its proper place.

We now have clarity,” mayor Francis Slay’s chief of staff Jeff Rainford told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “The Rams will hopefully let everyone know what they really want, and we’ll see what we can do to help.”

They should want that to which they’re entitled — a first-tier stadium.  And if St. Louis won’t give them the one the arbitrators say the Rams should have, the Rams will be allowed as of 2014 and every year thereafter to break their lease.

But it doesn’t mean they’ll move to Los Angeles or London or anywhere else.  The end result could be a new stadium built in the St. Louis area.

The outcome depends directly on the manner in which the Rams use their leverage.  Right now, the Rams have plenty of it.

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60 Responses to “Rams win stadium arbitration”
  1. fanofevilempire says: Feb 2, 2013 9:53 AM

    Oh how I wish there was a Ray Lewis press conference today.

  2. ddaveyy says: Feb 2, 2013 9:53 AM

    It’s a sad state of affairs when an 18 year old dome is insufficient….

    Dave

  3. cowboyfan66 says: Feb 2, 2013 9:55 AM

    I’ve lived in St. Louis all my life. Hated the Rams when they came here, still hate them. Their fans are , generally, football morons.
    Please, let them leave. If they want a new stadium, then let their owner pay for it. 300+ million is stilled owed on the original, POS Dumb Dome, which was obsolete before it was completed. Add 700 mill to that and with interest we’re looking at over 1 billion in payback.
    I’m disgusted with the rich getting the tax breaks to rebuild, while we keep paying. It’s stupid. PLEASE JUST LEAVE!

  4. fballguy says: Feb 2, 2013 9:56 AM

    Time to come back where you belong.

  5. kattykathy says: Feb 2, 2013 9:59 AM

    Mr. Kroenke wants the LA market. Period.

    The Rams deserve to be back in LA.
    The Cardinals deserve to be back in St. Louis

    I have no doubt that Mr. Kroenke is already behind the scenes inquiring about buying AEG, and taking the Rams back home.
    The whispers are getting louder about this scenerio from people close to the Wal Mart heirs and business people close to them.

    With Kroeke and his wifes money, they can certainly pull it off. Nobody else in the league comes close to the assets they have

  6. rosloe62 says: Feb 2, 2013 10:04 AM

    The Rams shouldn’t leave St. Louis, just the moron fans!

  7. bartlettruss says: Feb 2, 2013 10:05 AM

    They left LA originally because they were only getting about 45,000 fans in the stands each week. The Raiders went back to Oakland because LA doesn’t support football… a big stadium will look even emptier.

  8. thermalito says: Feb 2, 2013 10:16 AM

    What possible reason could the Rams have for staying in St. Louis? Theyre ranked near dead last in attendance and revenue there, its a small market with only lukewarm interest in the team. LA is a far better option for a multitude of reasons.
    @bartleruss: You obviously have next to zero understanding of the Rams or Raiders stays in Los Angeles. Both teams left because LA refused to build them new facilities. No other reason. The Raiders regularly drew crowds in excess of 80,000 at the LA Coliseum and the Rams broke attendance records when they played there. After Georgie Fontiere moved the team to Anaheim and let it go to hell attendance dropped in the final few seasons. A new facility like Farmers Field in LA and the Rams would not only be near the top of the league in attendance again but the value of the franchise would more than triple.

  9. hawkfanwtf says: Feb 2, 2013 10:24 AM

    “With Kroeke and his wifes money, they can certainly pull it off. Nobody else in the league comes close to the assets they have”

    Actually Paul Allen the Seahawks owner is much much richer 14 billion than Kroenke 4 billion and his wife 4.5 billion…. but nice try.

    That being said they certainly can afford to build a stadium with-out public money.

  10. mizzouram says: Feb 2, 2013 10:33 AM

    Rams are staying in St. Louis. Kroenke is going to build his own stadium. Why would he sell half his team and give up control? Rams get better attendance when going 15-65 than LA did during playoff runs.

  11. jayhawk6 says: Feb 2, 2013 10:39 AM

    @hawkfanwtf–Great handle BTW.
    The rich and super rich quite often get that way by having others spend money rather than spend their own money.

    Mr. Kroenke will likely head west.

  12. tylershark says: Feb 2, 2013 10:39 AM

    @kattykathy: the Rams aren’t moving back to L.A. For them to move they’d almost need a complete change in ownership, and Kroenke is a buyer, not a seller. And are you people
    Absolute idiots? When Kroenke bought the team he only did it because one of the conditions was to bring them TO St. Louis. Stan is a Missouri native and he was born there. Why in the world would he want to move his team out of the state he lives in?

    Maybe if you guys would take 5 minutes to look up on Kroenke, you’d realize he wants to keep the Rams in St. Louis. He’s even said, and so has Demoff.

    It baffles me how people think because its L.A. That its be better for the team.

  13. losangelesfan says: Feb 2, 2013 10:40 AM

    Wow. Los Angeles supports 2 MLB teams, 2 NBA teams, 2 NHL teams even 2 MLS teams. Georgia didn’t get what Anaheim promised. Al Davis, besides being crazy, didn’t get what he was promised. The Rams are not getting what they were promised.

    The Los Angeles Rams will be a cash cow. Look at the Lakers and Dodgers. There are billions to be had. Not to mention hosting Super Bowls.

  14. granadafan says: Feb 2, 2013 10:43 AM

    Whether or not the Rams should stay in St Louis is beside the point. The real issue people should be outraged about is the fact that the taxpayers and communities are being held hostage to build lavish palaces for billionaires.

  15. raiderinva says: Feb 2, 2013 10:46 AM

    I lived in St Louis for a few years. The original TWA Dome was not the greatest football experience in the land. Parking is a nightmare, tailgating almost hurts, then comes the trek to the stadium. Once inside you were limited to what you could have in the stands to eat and the beer that was pumped in from across street was way over priced. The seats are almost vertical so watch your step.

    Yeah the experience is not exactly like going to Green Bay, KC, Oakland, Seattle, New York, Philly, and Buffalo. I would add Washington to the list, but they only have two Johnny on the Spots for the entire parking lot?

  16. tstimler says: Feb 2, 2013 10:50 AM

    please move back to LA. NFC West looks weird with a mid west team in the division.

  17. rmfp1978 says: Feb 2, 2013 10:51 AM

    Kroenke isnt buying up land in missouri for no reason. He doesnt want the CVC involved. He wants his own stadium and parking lots. Theyll stay in st.louis area. You cant blame attendence when you have a dumbass gm like Devany and a Coach like Spags. They were idiots and they were arrogant but Snead and Fisher are bringing RAM NATION back

  18. rca26 says: Feb 2, 2013 10:54 AM

    I just want to know how one gets an arbitrator job determining what stadiums are better than the other ones.

  19. budramsfan says: Feb 2, 2013 10:59 AM

    Im a huge Rams fan. I wish that teams would stop threatening to leave for LA. LA is so messed up, the entire state of California is tirefire. Billions of debt each year, and yet they build more stuff they can’t afford. At least St. Louis is doing something intelligent by telling the NFL no and not holding the citizens hostage for millions to pay for a stadium that isn’t needed. Spending money you dont have is a hallmark of So Cal and their fans. If you move Rams, enjoy your half empty stadium, enjoy the fair weather fans of LA, enjoy the belligerent drunks, and the stabbings. If the Rams move, im done with them, ill buy my season tickets for the chiefs games in KC. At least I won’t have to worry about a local team getting ripped out from under the local fans for a state and city that’s billions in debt and whose fans are indifferent.

  20. thermalito says: Feb 2, 2013 11:01 AM

    There is no way Kroenke is dipping into his own money to pay for a stadium in a market currently ranked 31st in attendance and 31st in revenue. St. Louis is an awful market and always has been. Stan Kroenke already has business interests with AEG and obviously wants to be in the Los Angeles market. St. Louis simply has nothing to offer, especially when you consider the value of the Rams would more than triple with a relocation back to Los Angeles.
    @rmfp1978: If Stan Kroenke didn’t want the CVC involved he wouldn’t have gone through the arbitration process in the first place. He wants free of the lease.

  21. rmfp1978 says: Feb 2, 2013 11:05 AM

    I dont think theyre threatening or using L.A. for leverage. The bottom line Kroenke wants his own stadium.

  22. green41563 says: Feb 2, 2013 11:06 AM

    No more public money for sports teams. Period.

  23. SparkyGump says: Feb 2, 2013 11:12 AM

    Go ahead and build your new home, Rams, but with no public money. We can’t afford any more corporate welfare.

  24. spicymudbugs says: Feb 2, 2013 11:14 AM

    It’s a baseball town anyway

  25. source7769 says: Feb 2, 2013 11:16 AM

    please stop with all the this team and that team will move to LA no current team is moving to LA when a team goes to LA it will be an expansion team they will sell one for 2 billion dollars entry fee and split that among the NFL teams

  26. stlunatik says: Feb 2, 2013 11:18 AM

    many people in St Louis could care less about the Rams, but then there are the die hard fans like myself. we far out weigh the morons who want them to leave. that being said, Rams, this is your home. @ Stan, if you build it, we will come!

  27. kattykathy says: Feb 2, 2013 11:20 AM

    Yea Kroenke is SOOOOO in love with Missouri. Thats why he owns an English soccer team, hockey and basketball teams in Colorado, tried to buy the LA Dodgers.
    He is a business man, he is not in love with Missouri.

    And someone better check their facts. The WalMart daughters have much more money than Paul Allen.

    DO SOME RESEARCH people, before opening your mouths and looking foolish.

    He is buying land in Missouri true, but he also owns land in multiple other states.

  28. thermalito says: Feb 2, 2013 11:25 AM

    Expansion is not going to happen again for a very long time. When LA breaks ground on a new stadium multiple teams will be falling all over themselves to move there. The Rams aren’t staying in St. Louis. There is no reason to. Its one of the worst football markets in the league and they don’t have a proper stadium. The Rams would be better off playing in a bad stadium in LA, let alone a brand new facility.

  29. northstars1991 says: Feb 2, 2013 11:27 AM

    Cities and states are just plain stupid to pay and build stadiums without first DEMANDING that NFL owners allow fans the right to purchase stock in the team (like the Green Bay Packers) to keep teams from moving in the future. Billionaire NFL owners are the greediest people in the world.

  30. nflhof says: Feb 2, 2013 11:31 AM

    The Rama will always belong in LA

  31. thermalito says: Feb 2, 2013 11:33 AM

    The City of St. Louis has nobody but themselves to blame. They are the ones who agreed to an awful lease agreement that gives the team free rent, stipulates the City is responsible for all upgrades and gives the team an easy out clause of the lease every 10 years. Is anyone really surprised at whats happening? The Rams moving back to LA will be the least surprising football story in recent history.

  32. jikkle49 says: Feb 2, 2013 11:34 AM

    Don’t blame Stan blame the stupid lease the city signed in the first place.

    It’s in the lease that the stadium would be in the top 25 percent of the league by 2015 so don’t be surprised when Stan expects that to happen. And he has leverage because arbitration sides with his plan and not the city’s.

    I agree that this owners should chip in more a lot more money then they when it comes to stadiums but in this case St. Louis shouldn’t complain if the Rams bail and go to LA.

  33. lennydpocketqb says: Feb 2, 2013 11:58 AM

    I was hoping for the Buffalo Bills to move to L.A.

  34. htowntexansred says: Feb 2, 2013 12:21 PM

    All of this talk about team(s) moving to L.A. Why? L.A. is a very nice city to visit. I’ve been there numerous occasions. But, to live there? Oh no! California have one of the highest taxes in the nation over 13%! Those football tickets going to be ridiculous when a team do decide to move in L.A.

  35. dannymac17 says: Feb 2, 2013 12:25 PM

    Will you clowns stop acting like they left LA because of attendance.

    That wasnt even the case.

    It was stadium related, which like the Raiders, surprise again.

    Want another stadium after St Louis built them one.

    Its all greed.

    Don’t blame an entire area of people cause we havent had a football stadium built in 70+ years

  36. autumnritual says: Feb 2, 2013 12:25 PM

    fballguy says: Feb 2, 2013 9:56 AM

    Time to come back where you belong.

    ——————————————————

    You mean, Cleveland?

  37. sportsnut101 says: Feb 2, 2013 12:51 PM

    So dam tired of sports teams saying my building is not tops well how bout u win some more cuz 3 seasons of winning 10 yrs ago is not enough. If the city has to give u 700 mill to upgrade a stadium. Isn’t it cheaper to build a brand new stadium I mean it’s st Louis not ny the cost is not as high to build. What a joke I would let them walk after they pay a lease buyout of 125 mill n get another team in there

  38. jimmysee says: Feb 2, 2013 12:54 PM

    Um — home for the Rams is Cleveland.

    Home for the Cardinals is Chicago.

    Thank you.

  39. giantssb42champs says: Feb 2, 2013 12:55 PM

    California here we come!

  40. sportsnut101 says: Feb 2, 2013 12:55 PM

    If u need a new stadium every 20 yrs just make sure u have 5 superbowls to show for it in that timeframe.

    Look I will do the upgrades for 500 mill ok contact me anything under 500 mill I can’t feed my family on aka spreewell lol

  41. chrisdavidgarcia says: Feb 2, 2013 1:18 PM

    That was a stupid agreement the city of St. Louis signed. They must have thought the world was going to end with the Mayan Calendar. Welcome home to L.A boys.

  42. clownsfan says: Feb 2, 2013 1:26 PM

    NFL owners aren’t gonna let any current team move to LA. Period. They will expand. 2 teams at $1 billion each. They want that new money. That $$$$ will immediately cover any loss r/t any of these BS concussion related lawsuits. LA & Toronto get a franchise. Watch.

  43. rmfp1978 says: Feb 2, 2013 1:28 PM

    It is st.louis fault for signing that lease and true kroenke does have franchises in other places. Im not saying it isnt a possibility that kroenke will move elsewhere but I just dont see L.A. being a possibility. He dont want to do business with CVC and correct me if im wrong im pretty sure whoever goes to L.A. will have to give up a percentage of their ownership, atleast thats what Bernie Mikolauze said on that Fastlane. I dont see Kroenke doing that. While st.louis is a baseball town first, hockey second I definitely see that order changing in the near future. Blues are looking tough and I love the direction the Rams are headed. I just hope its in st.louis. I dont want to hear attendance prob because the fans had a right to be mad with the way they were being run and while I didnt give up on them everytime Billy Devany opened his mouth the closer I was to giving up. Thats in the past and if you couldnt see the change the franchise is headed in your not a true football fan or your ignorant to the sport. RAMS NATION

  44. granadafan says: Feb 2, 2013 1:32 PM

    Look. The NFL isn’t going to want to hold the Super Bowl in St. Louis. I lived there for 8 months. While it’s a nice city and the Laclaide’s Landing is a fun area, that’s about all the city has going for it. It would give Jacksonville a run for it’s money for most boring place to hold a major event.

    Oh, and just say no to welfare for multibillion dollar companies with multibillionaires. It’s amazing that a certain segment of the population is so adamantly against social welfare for the needy, yet is OK with cities raising taxes for billionaires.

  45. iced107 says: Feb 2, 2013 2:02 PM

    “the Rams will be allowed as of 2014 and every year thereafter to break their lease.”

    —————————————————-

    Get your facts right – they don’t go year to year until the end of the 2014 league year, beginning of 2015. or another words, march 2015…

    but i’m sure we’re going to have to hear about the Rams moving to LA for this stadium that doesn’t exist.. Never mind the fact that Kroenke just bought the team and is quietly buying properties along the outskirts of St.Louis (which btw is a great location for a stadium). He also didn’t become a billionaire by acquiring businesses and then sharing equity (he owns nuggets and a soccer team), which is what roski wants if they get a team to move there.

  46. purpleguy says: Feb 2, 2013 2:06 PM

    Man is it refreshing to read these articles and not have to see the words: “LA Vikings”.

  47. middy8484 says: Feb 2, 2013 2:29 PM

    The Rams belong in Los Angeles. Like everyone said earlier, if they build it we will come!!! St Louis is not a football city anyway!!

  48. nflfanassociation says: Feb 2, 2013 3:02 PM

    LA Rams, CA Chargers. I’ve been saying it for years and I’ll say again. Farmers field will only work with two teams. One from the AFC and one from the NFC, just like they have in New Jersey. The Rams & Chargers are the original LA teams and that’s where they belong. It’s what the league wants and it’s what the Rams & Chargers want.

  49. thermalito says: Feb 2, 2013 3:13 PM

    iced107: Stan Kroenke buying real estate in St. Louis means absolutely nothing. You do realize he also owns real estate and currently lives in LA right? If he planned on spending his own money there then whats he waiting for? He would not have gone through the arbitration process if he planned on throwing money at a new stadium in one of the league’s worst revenue and attendance markets. If thats the case he’d be using his money to build a stadium in LA where the team would be worth triple what they are now. There is no upside to remaining in St. Louis. Kroenke doesn’t share equity in his businesses? You’re clueless. He currently has shared ownership with Arsenal and he sold his majority share in the Avalanche when he bought the nuggets. He also already has business dealings with AEG. Stan Kroenke would have no problem selling a minority share of the Rams to move into a new stadium and triple the value of the franchise. There is no financial benefit to the Rams remaining in St. Louis and you are simply in denial if you think otherwise.

  50. thermalito says: Feb 2, 2013 3:20 PM

    For those of you who obviously aren’t familiar with the economics of sports, NFL owners bargain with minority shares of their teams all the time. If Stan Kroenke moves the Rams into a brand new facility in downtown Los Angeles the team will be worth triple what they are now and one of the most valuable franchises in sports. If you think Stan Kroenke would not be willing to turn the Rams into a 2 billion dollar franchise with the huge jump in annual revenue they would generate in exchange for a minority share of the team then you are frighteningly misinformed on this subject.

  51. moseszd says: Feb 2, 2013 3:23 PM

    $700 million… Screw the Rams.

    Getting the Rams didn’t help St. Louis and losing the Rams isn’t going to hurt St. Louis. What St. Louis needs is a lot of work and throwing that money away on the Rams, who’ve done nothing to help revitalize the city, just isn’t worth it.

    Plus St. Louis just isn’t a football town. It didn’t work for the (football) Cardinals when they were winning. It barely worked for the Rams when they won. It sure doesn’t work now that the Rams are in the basement.

    Now, the Cardinals (baseball) hit .500… The town is red. It’s amazing how much support the baseball team has.

    But the Rams… No… They have to buy their own ticket to avoid black-outs. Even against good teams and long-term division rivals, like the 2011 game against the 49ers.

    We’re talking a rivalry that goes back to the 1950s and they can’t sell out. Even when the 49ers were awful, the Rams games sold out.

  52. rmfp1978 says: Feb 2, 2013 3:35 PM

    Comes down to what the better business decision is. All im saying is I hope the RAMS stay in st.louis and I know there are more fans that feel the same

  53. thermalito says: Feb 2, 2013 3:39 PM

    Too bad those “fans” in St. Louis rarely find their way to the stadium on sundays. The Rams belong in Los Angeles. St. Louis is just as bad a football market today as it was when the Cardinals left town.

  54. johnnytarr says: Feb 2, 2013 3:45 PM

    The NFL loves the threat of L.A. What will they do if a team actually moves there?

  55. thermalito says: Feb 2, 2013 4:01 PM

    What will they do if a team actually moves there? Probably rejoice while they watch their revenue sharing pie increase by eliminating a failed market like St. Louis and adding the nation’s second largest media market.

  56. rmfp1978 says: Feb 2, 2013 4:57 PM

    Your making the Rams look as bad as the bucaneers or jaguars and chargers. I agree with your first comment but you cant blame fans for the product they was putting out. When they were the greatest show on turf fans showed up and I guarantee as of last year their revenue showed a significant increase compar ed to years prior. Its not like they were bad for a couple of years that wasnt the case. They were ran bu arrogant pr. Year after year you cant blame fans for not wanting to support that

  57. couldntthinkofaname says: Feb 2, 2013 6:48 PM

    When they were the greatest show on turf fans showed up and I guarantee as of last year their revenue showed a significant increase compar ed to years prior.
    _____________________

    The Chargers and Jaguars easily outdrew the Rams this past season, and I’d suspect for several of the previous seasons as well. St. Louis, on the other hand, couldn’t sell out for a Thursday night game against Arizona by offering ten dollar tickets.

    The Rams have been at or near the bottom of attendance for over five years. Fans starting ignoring them the second year into that tailspin after the GSOT years.

    St. Louis agreed to this top-tier arrangement when the signed the contract with the Rams. Too bad.

    And Florio didn’t mention that the CVC was ordered to pay the Rams’ legal fees for arbitration: three million bucks.

    Truth is, attendance is a red herring. It’s about stadiums and revenue streams. Kroenke isn’t going to sink a billion of his own dollars into the 21st biggest market.

    So…..you got 700 million (plus overruns…) ready, St. Louis?

  58. harleyforme says: Feb 2, 2013 7:22 PM

    Wrong Thermalito. Kroenke lives in Columbia, Missouri (accordng to Forbes magaazine, among other sources) and has places in Denver, Malibu, Montana, Canada and probably more.

    Wrong again, he still has controlling interest in the Avalanche and Nuggets. He doesn’t have to sell until 2014 to appease the NFL and you would have to be a tool if you don’t think he isn’t going to “sell” to his son who has control of both franchises.

    Your rational is he has money, so what’s he waiting for? “Obviously, you aren’t familiar with the economics of sports”. What’s he waiting for? The best possible deal he can get in St. Louis. He’s a businessman who bought into the team ON THE CONDITION they move out of LA and to STL.

    As much as you LA people hate Georgia, you are really going to hate Stan when he builds in St. Louis!

    Always the bridesmaid, never the bride!

  59. lafan101 says: Feb 2, 2013 7:25 PM

    The Rams have a 50 year history in Los Angeles and a rivalry with the 49ers in the NFC West when they were both in California. Stan Kroenke lives in Malibu. It’s going to happen! Maybe later on the league will give up on Jacksonville and move the Jags to St. Louis. Los Angeles Rams return in 2015.

  60. drew1969 says: Feb 4, 2013 10:19 AM

    I see the LA market as a catch 22;they wont build a stadium until some team commits to moving there,and goodell already has said that the nfl conrols what team will move there(if any).Its way too soon to be talking about the rams,or any other team,going to LA.

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