Venue News: Rams Stadium Plan Rejected; Rutgers To Renovate Athletic Center

The agency that operates the Edward Jones Dome has rejected an improvement plan proposed by the St. Louis Rams. The St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission announced in a brief statement on Friday that it has rejected the proposal submitted by the NFL team last month. The commission says it hopes to engage the Rams in dialogue over the next two weeks. Arbitration begins if no agreement is reached by June 15. The lease between the commission and the Rams requires that the dome be among the top quarter of all NFL stadiums. It submitted a proposal for $124 million in improvements in February. The Rams’ counterproposal did not have a price tag but city officials said it would cost about $700 million…

…After 35 years, the Rutgers Athletic Center is finally getting a face-lift. What form it comes in and exactly how much it winds up costing have not been determined, but Rutgers officials took the first step toward renovating the facility yesterday by hiring Michael Graves & Associates to design a plan for the RAC’s new look. The long-awaited upgrade will likely take place in phases, athletic director Tim Pernetti said, and could take two to three years to complete. The final cost is expected to be in the range of Pernetti’s initial renovation plans for the building two years ago: $30 million, with the majority of it covered through fundraising efforts. Plans call for a modern practice facility for men’s and women’s basketball as well as new strength, conditioning, training and equipment rooms, and offices for the athletic department. Air conditioning and a new scoreboard are also priorities…

…Frustrated over Barclays Center developer Forest City Ratner’s plans for dealing with local traffic and other quality-of-life issues once the Barclays Center opens in September, civic groups and elected officials today unveiled their own Wrigley Field-inspired plan for arena patrons. It rips a page out of the Chi-Town playbook, including advocating for residential permit parking in Park Slope and other densely populated neighborhoods near Barclays Center. The plan also follows the Cubs’ lead by having Nets brass dig deep into their pockets to provide extra sanitation services and more traffic cops near Barclays Center. The Cubs in 2011 shelled out $750,000 to fund such measures near Wrigley Field, according to the team’s annual report.

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