St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay is asking the city’s Convention and Visitors Commission to reject the Rams’ request for $700 million in upgrades to the Edward Jones Dome.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean the team is on its way out of town.
Speaking on St. Louis on the Air, Slay said the Ram’s requests was a “best-case scenario” for the team, and did not reflect a take-it-or-leave-it offer.
The city’s plan calls for upgrades totaling $124 million—a figure which Slays says is a starting point for further negotiations.
“I really want to see the Rams stay here in St. Louis,” Slay said. “They’re a great team, they do a lot for our community, and we’ve got a lot of rabid Rams fans here. We are a big sports town and I think it does add to our prestige but we can’t keep them at any cost.”
Slay also noted that the so-called “top-tier” status the city is bound by is not a concrete benchmark and may be subject to leeway. The mayor mentioned the possibility of the Rams staying in the region but moving out of the Edward Jones Dome, although he declined to say how realistic that option may be.
If both sides reject the other’s offer the issue will go to arbitration on June 15. If an agreement isn’t reached by the end of the year the Rams will go to a year-to-year lease starting in 2015.