From The Associated Press
ST. LOUIS —
The St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission will pay $2 million in legal fees incurred by the St. Louis Rams as the two sides squared off over renovations for the Edward Jones Dome.
The ruling by arbitrators was released Tuesday. The CVC president and the Rams declined comment.
The team’s lease agreement for the dome requires that it be among the top quarter of all 31 NFL stadiums. The team and the CVC have not been able to reach a consensus on how to get it there.
The Rams last year were seeking improvements that the CVC estimated would cost at least $700 million. The CVC proposal would have cost less than $200 million. Arbitrators over the winter ruled in favor of the Rams.
The 30-year lease that lured the Rams from Anaheim, Calif., in 1995 allows for the franchise to leave after the 2014 season if the Edward Jones Dome is not deemed “first-tier,” defined as among the top 25 percent of all NFL stadiums.
The dome was built with taxpayer funding from the city, St. Louis County and the state of Missouri.
Team owner Stan Kroenke has been noncommittal about the team’s future if the dome isn’t improved. The Missouri native owns an estate in Malibu, Calif., and unsuccessfully sought to purchase baseball’s Dodgers, leading to speculation that the Rams could potentially return to Los Angeles without a significant dome upgrade.