The CVC Votes to Kill the Suspense, Enter Arbitration Immediately

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And thus ends the swiftest-moving portion of the Edward Jones Dome saga. The St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission reportedly voted in a teleconference this morning to file for arbitration today, rather than making everyone wait until the deadline, which was tomorrow.

Today's development seems to have been inevitable really. We've seen the plans, and we've seen the plans rejected. When it was clear the gulf between the two sides' proposals was $576 million, no agreement or middle road seemed likely. Arbitration by a third party is the only way this thing is going to get settled.

And that could take a while. The team's lease stipulates that "a reasonable effort" must be made to complete the arbitration process by December 31, 2012. A solution that's amenable to both sides is desired by that date, but not absolutely necessary for resolution. The CVC has 60 days after that time to agree with whatever renovation plan is endorsed by the arbitrator  -- which could be the Rams' plan, the CVC's plan or a third plan developed during arbitration --  or do nothing. If they do nothing, the Rams can terminate the lease at the end of the 2014 season, presumably to go play in greener pastures.

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