UPDATED at 10:40 a.m. with statement from the CVC.
ST. LOUIS • The agency that runs the Edward Jones Dome rejected the St. Louis Rams’ plan for an overhaul of the building this morning.
The Rams’ lease of the Dome requires that it be a "first-tier" facility in 15 categories by 2015. Under the terms of the agreement, the CVC and Rams now have until June 15 to strike a deal on renovating the Dome or the two sides will go into arbitration.
In a statement, the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission said it "believes that it is in the best interest of the community and the Rams to engage in meaningful dialogue over the next two weeks, and looks forward to the opportunity to do so at the earliest convenience of Rams management."
The rejection was hardly a surprise. Jeff Rainford, the mayor's chief of staff, said: "It was expected. I think the Rams probably expected it ... and are preparing for arbitration."
Rainford said he had wanted the offer rejected because the price tag was too high and construction would close the building for too long.
City officials have estimated the team's proposal could cost $700 million and would make it impossible to book large conventions during construction.
The Rams' plan was a counteroffer to a $124 million proposal put forward by the CVC and later rejected by the team.