St. Louis Rams' dome plan revealed; plan seeks roof panel

ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Rams would like to make the Edward Jones Dome a more attractive destination for a Super Bowl, calling for more and reconfigured seats and improvements including a roof panel that could be opened slightly to allow more natural light.

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster released details of the plan Monday despite the team's desire to keep it private. The team's proposal also calls for reconfiguring and adding some 6,000 seats; upgrading club areas and amenities for patrons of club seats; improved facilities for the Rams and visiting teams; and other improvements such as better restrooms and concessions.

However, the additional seating would only be installed for a Super Bowl and would not be a permanent seating.

The plan would also require demolition of the east side of the dome and re-routing a nearby street. A glass wall would replace the brick facade on the east side of the structure.

It does not cite a cost estimate but said the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Bureau, which owns the lease, can now develop a financing plan by June 1. Messages seeking comment from the CVC and from the St. Louis mayor's office were not immediately returned.

In a statement, Rams Executive Vice President of Football Operations Kevin Demoff said the negotiation process 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."

The original 30-year lease when the Rams arrived from Los Angeles prior to the 1995 season requires the dome to remain among the top quarter of the 31 NFL stadiums. Unless upgrades are made, the Rams can legally break the lease and potentially move after the 2014 season.

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The CVC presented a plan in February that called for spending $124 million on upgrades, including better club seats, a new scoreboard and windows along the sides offering more natural light. But that plan had the Rams paying 52 percent of the cost. Taxpayers in St. Louis city and county would have to approve paying for the remainder, or roughly $60 million.

The team rejected that proposal and in the report released Monday said "the Rams disagree that the implementation of the CVC 2012 plans would result in the improvement of the facilities and each of the specified components to first tier status."

The team's counterproposal on May 1 wasn't made public. Several media outlets, including The Associated Press, made open records requests, citing the fact that the dome was built largely with taxpayer money. Koster's decision to release the document was in answer to those requests.

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press

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