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Monday, May 7, 2012
Rams fans will find out team's motives

By Mike Sando

Public-records laws are forcing into the open proposals between the St. Louis Rams and the local stadium authority.

That is great news for Rams fans.

The May 14 release date means fans will soon discover how serious both sides have been about keeping the Rams in St. Louis.

If remaining in St. Louis is a top priority for the Rams, proposals made by the team will show owner Stan Kroenke pursuing reasonable upgrades to the Edward Jones Dome. Ideally, these upgrades would focus at least as much on upgrading the fan experience as upgrading Kroenke's profit margin.

If the Rams are more interested in leveraging their position, the proposals will show the team making more extravagant demands centering around luxury suites and other revenue-producing initiatives.

Of primary interest: to what extent each side's proposals shift the financial burden onto others.

Kroenke is a businessman. There are no laws requiring him to make staying in St. Louis a top priority. He's free to leverage the situation. Likewise, there are no laws requiring fans to purchase tickets or otherwise embrace the product if they feel as though ownership is playing the leverage game in an effort to break its lease and eventually relocate.

The stadium authority has until 2015 to bring the Edward Jones Dome into compliance as a "top-tier" NFL stadium or else the Rams can break their lease.

Note: Thanks to @nickthegrip85 for tipping me off to this story while I was preoccupied with another entry.