The St. Louis Rams cleared a considerable hurdle on Friday toward getting a new stadium, or at least kick-starting talks on a new stadium.
The Rams won a decision with a panel of arbitrators, who determined that the club’s $700 million plan to renovate the Edward Jones Dome was the necessary step to make it a “first tier” NFL stadium.
Of course, in many ways it would make more sense to construct a new stadium than it would to pour that kind of money into a building that is nearly 20 years old. The situation now sets up where if the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission, which runs the Dome, doesn’t choose to follow the Rams’ plan, the team’s lease will become year-to-year beginning in March 2015, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
That will add fuel to whispers of Rams owner Stan Kroenke wanting to relocate the club to Los Angeles, the city that nearly every team seeking a new stadium has leveraged. But according to the Post-Dispatch report, “talks between local leaders and the Rams are expected to shift toward the idea of building a new stadium, on a new site.”
But any type of a decision is a long ways off and there will be many obstacles for the club to clear before the Rams get close to having a new stadium. Stay tuned.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune