ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)– Tuesday’s the deadline for the Rams to make a counter-offer on Edward Jones Dome upgrades. The team’s future in St. Louis is at stake, but the Rams are not talking.
The Rams are free to leave St. Louis two years and eight months from now if the dome isn’t among the NFL’s top stadiums. The team rejected the city’s $124 million upgrade plan. On Tuesday, the Rams submit their counter-offer. But even though it will involve spending millions of taxpayer dollars, the Rams insist their plan be kept secret.
When the city’s Convention and Visitors Commission revealed its $124 million dome upgrade plan it was made public.
The Rams rejected the proposal. But now the team insists its counter-offer be kept secret.
It’s all part of a confidentiality agreement Rams owner Stan Kroenke signed with the CVC. But the hundreds of millions of dollars it might take to upgrade the dome to what the Rams want would mostly be taxpayer money.
And that would seem to fall under the Missouri Sunshine Law, which requires that meetings and records of public governmental bodies, like the Convention and Visitors Commission, be open to the public.
Fox 2 first approached the Rams on April 26th about their insistence on keeping their counter-offer secret.
In an email to Fox 2, Rams spokesman Artis Twyman re-iterated the team’s position, telling Fox 2 “We will not make it public.”
Fox 2 contacted the Missouri attorney general’s office about the issue a few days later.
They sent me an email with a statement from Patricia Churchill, who heads the attorney general’s governmental affairs division. She said in her opinion “A confidentiality agreement with a third party does not constitute an exception to the sunshine law.”
So Missouri’s attorney general’s office indicates that the information in the Rams deal should be made public. With that, Fox 2 emailed the Rams again.
This time, the email response was not the previous flat refusal. The team now says they have not yet decided whether to make their counter-offer public.
So the public may get to see how the Rams propose spending millions in tax dollars after all.
That Rams counter-offer is due Tuesday. The city has until June 1st to accept or reject it. If they reject, it goes to arbitration. And both sides have until the end of the year to strike a deal. No deal, no Rams after January, 2015.