Originally posted by dwatersWhat does First Tier Process mean?
If the Rams' facility is not in the FIrst Tier (top 25%) of NFL stadia by 2014, the Rams can legally break their lease with the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Bureau and leave. (Spoiler: it won't be in the top three of four tiers. Barely in the fourth.) Neither side is anywhere close, with the city proposing ~$120 million in upgrades, half to be paid for by the team, and the Rams not even putting a price tag on their counter proposal (most estimates: $750 million. Basically half a new stadium.)
There's about a sixty percent chance the excuse is utter bullshit; it may be leverage since after they announced the London games, they realized it violated their lease, hardly giving them an advantage with the arbitrator that will eventually decide if they can leave after 2014. Whatever the case, the idea that spending a week stateside instead of in the shadow of Tower Bridge will aid the effort to stay in Mound City is laughable.
Unless the team completely backs down (probably not) or the city goes batshit crazy (even less likely,) the Rams will be able to leave. Whether they will or not is harder to predict.
I read something interesting at ProFootballTalk. The Pats last 6 seasons have ended in the 6 different ways possible: Missed playoffs (2008); lost in wild card round (2009); lost in divisional round (2005); lost in conference championship (2006)