The future of the Rams in St. Louis was thrown into doubt when officials rejected the team’s proposal to upgrade the Edward Jones Dome last year, deeming the reported $700 million request too expensive while making a more modest proposal of their own.
That rejection gave the Rams the ability to break their long-term lease at the stadium after next season, something that might become an even greater possibility if the stadium runs out of money to keep the building up to the current standard. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that could happen as the annual $24 million payouts used to maintain the stadium and pay off construction debt will come to an end in the coming years and the St. Louis Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority is on pace to burn through their savings.
Brian McMurtry, the executive director of the authority, sent a letter to city, county and state officials making them aware of the situation and noting that they’ll need an additional $40 million in cash or $40 million in new bonds to keep the lights on.
“I’m going to tell you, they don’t know how they’re going to do it,” McMurtry said. “But they want to know what it’s going to take.”
Rams COO Kevin Demoff said that the Rams have helped fund such projects in the past and they’re open to discussions now, but the uncertainty of their future in St. Louis could make an agreement on those terms a difficult one to reach without a commitment to major upgrades or a new stadium. And that uncertainty also likely makes it difficult for the powers that be to fund upkeep on a stadium that may lose its major tenant in the next few years, leaving some big decisions to make all around in St. Louis.