The Dome in 2006
|Former names||Trans World Dome (1995-2001)|
Edward Jones Dome (2002-2016)
|Location||701 Convention Plaza|
St. Louis Missouri, United States 63101
|Public transit||Metrolink: Convention Center|
|Owner||St. Louis Regional Sports Authority|
|Operator||St. Louis Convention/Visitors Bureau|
|Capacity||Full stadium: 67,277 (such as for NFL games)|
Half stadium: 40,000 (such as for basketball games)
|Surface||AstroTurf GameDay Grass 3D (2010-present)|
|Broke ground||July 13, 1992|
|Opened||November 12, 1995|
|Construction cost||US$280 million|
($470 million in 2019 dollars)
|Architect||HOK Sport (now Populous)|
Kennedy Associates/Architects, Inc.
|Project manager||J.S. Alberici Construction|
|Structural engineer||EDM Incorporated|
|Services engineer||Design Consulting Engineering Inc.|
|General contractor||M.A. Mortenson Company|
|St. Louis Rams (NFL) (1995-2015)|
St. Louis BattleHawks (XFL) (2020)
The Dome at America's Center, known locally throughout its existence simply as "The Dome" or more recently "The BattleDome", is a multi-purpose stadium used for concerts, major conventions, and sporting events in downtown St. Louis, Missouri, United States. Previously known as the Trans World Dome from 1995 to 2001, and the Edward Jones Dome from 2002 to 2016, it was constructed largely to lure an NFL team back to St. Louis and to serve as a convention space.
The Dome received its initial main tenant with the arrival of the National Football League's Los Angeles Rams, who relocated to St. Louis for the 1995 NFL season. The Rams spent the next twenty-one seasons in the Dome, departing after the 2015 NFL season to return to Los Angeles. The St. Louis BattleHawks of the revived XFL began play at the stadium in early 2020.
The Dome provides multiple stadium configurations that can seat up to 82,624 people. Seating levels include a private luxury suite level with 120 suites, a private club seat and luxury suite level with 6,400 club seats, a concourse level (lower bowl) with 28,352 seats, and a terrace level (upper bowl) with 29,400.
The Dome is part of the America's Center convention center. The convention portion has a much bigger footprint and adjoins to the west of the Dome, Cole Street to the north, Broadway to the east, and Convention Plaza to the south. The stadium is serviced by the Convention Center MetroLink rail station.
In 1988, the St. Louis Cardinals left St. Louis for Phoenix, Arizona leaving St. Louis without a National Football League team. Looking to re-enter the league, St. Louis proposed building a domed stadium for a team to play in and attaching the Dome to the convention center to expand convention center capacity. The funding for the project was accomplished via public bonds beginning in 1989. In 1991, St. Louis put in for an NFL expansion franchise for 1995 called the St. Louis Stallions and began construction on The Dome in 1992. However, in 1993, the league chose Charlotte, North Carolina and Jacksonville, Florida over St. Louis.
After St. Louis came up short in its expansion bid, it appeared that the city might land a new team anyway. Advertising executive James Orthwein, a St. Louis native and member of the Busch family, bought the New England Patriots in 1992 from Victor Kiam to resolve a debt between the two men. The Patriots had long been in financial malaise since original owner Billy Sullivan, who was still the team president during Kiam's ownership, had squandered all of his net worth on a series of bad investments in the mid-1980s and was forced to sell the team to Kiam and Foxboro Stadium to Robert Kraft. Immediately upon purchase, Orthwein made it clear that he wanted to relocate the team from Foxborough, Massachusetts to St. Louis and was to leave New England at the end of the 1993 season. Orthwein's plans to move the team however were thwarted when Kraft refused to let Orthwein out of the long-term lease that he had secured from Kiam and Sullivan as part of his purchase of the stadium. Orthwein did not want to own the team if he could not move it, and Kraft initiated a hostile takeover that resulted in his purchase of the Patriots in 1994.
The then under-construction Dome finally received the NFL tenant it was looking for in 1995 when Georgia Frontiere announced she would relocate her Los Angeles Rams to St. Louis for the 1995 season. This move was initially voted down, with 21 opposed, three in favor (the Rams, Cincinnati Bengals and Tampa Bay Buccaneers), and six abstaining. The other owners (led by Buffalo's Ralph Wilson, the Jets' Leon Hess, the Giants' Wellington Mara, Washington's Jack Kent Cooke, Arizona's Bill Bidwill and Minnesota's John Skoglund) believed that the Rams' financial problems were caused by the Frontieres' mismanagement. When Frontiere threatened to sue the league, commissioner Paul Tagliabue acquiesced to Frontiere's demands. As part of the relocation deal, the city of St. Louis guaranteed that the stadium's amenities would be maintained in the top 25% of all NFL stadiums. After playing their first four home games of the 1995 season at Busch Memorial Stadium because the Dome was not ready, the Rams' first game in the stadium on Sunday November 12, 1995 was a 28-17 win over the Carolina Panthers.
The Dome received a $30 million renovation in 2009, which replaced the scoreboards with LED video displays (one large in north end zone and one smaller in south end zone) and LED fascia boards around the bowl of the Dome. The renovations also added new premium areas (Bud Light Zone and Clarkson Jewelers Club). Some of the paint work in the Dome was lightened as well and painted in Rams colors (Blue, Gold, and White). In 2010, the Rams locker room was re-built and switched ends from the north end zone to the south end zone. For 2011, new HD monitors were installed throughout the Dome in place of the older screens at concession stands and other areas. Before the 2010 season, the Dome also received a new permanent turf surface. The surface, manufactured by AstroTurf, is AstroTurf's Magic Carpet II Conversion System, which features its GameDay 3D Synthetic Turf System. This system is similar to the original turf system that was in the Dome from 1995 to 2004 whereas it can be rolled up and stored underground in a pit at the Dome. The Dome used a FieldTurf brand surface from 2005 to 2009.
The Dome's primary problem throughout the years centered on a lease signed by the Rams when they came to St. Louis in 1995. For the first decade, the Dome was considered a fine facility, but eventually the Rams and city leaders became concerned with the Dome's long-term viability.
Under the terms of the lease that the Rams signed in 1995, the Dome was required to be ranked in the top quartile of NFL stadiums through 2015, measured at 10 year intervals. This meant the Dome had to have the proper fan amenities and other features found in modern NFL stadiums. If the building was not ranked in the top quartile, the Rams were free to break the lease and either relocate without penalty or continue to lease the Dome on a year-to-year basis.
Not helping matters was the Dome's poor reception with NFL fans and the general public as the years went by. Even after the 2010 renovations many websites ranking the 31 NFL stadiums listed the Dome near the bottom of their respective rankings. In 2008, for a Sports Illustrated poll, St. Louis fans ranked it the worst out of any NFL stadium at the time with particularly low marks for tailgating, affordability and atmosphere. Time magazine in May 2012 ranked the Dome as the 7th worst major sports stadium in the United States. The Dome's exterior was regarded as an "urban eyesore from the get-go, an ugly multi-purpose dome that's one defining feature was its inability to fit into any conceivable cityscape...[that] takes up several city blocks but never developed any reasonable interesting business around it: It has always looked like a huge mall from that sad time in recent American history when cities bragged about how big of a mall they could build". Inside, the Dome was "too vast and too cavernous to hold a lot of sound...[and] was the sort of building that felt empty even when it was full", even during the "Greatest Show on Turf" halcyon days of the Rams.
In 2005, the rankings indicated that the dome was no longer in the top quartile as mandated by the lease, which gave the Rams the right to begin the process of breaking the lease, or reverting to a year-to-year. The Rams, wishing to afford St. Louis ample opportunity to meet the quartile requirement, instead agreed to waive this right for the 2005 checkpoint in return for $30 million of renovations and improvements. However, both the Rams and city leaders realized at this time that long-term, the Dome needed a major overhaul or St. Louis would again risk losing the Rams after 2015.
With the 2015 deadline looming, the Convention and Visitor Center (the stadium's operator) and the Rams negotiated throughout 2012 on the renovations and agreed to go into arbitration in 2013 if a deal was not worked out in which three arbitrators mutually agreed on from the American Arbitration Association to arbitrate the case in 2013.
In January 2012, the CVC proposed $48 million in improvements including a new 947-vehicle garage, all funded publicly, with the Rams keeping the garage game-day revenue. After the Rams rejected the $48 million deal the CVC next proposed $124 million in renovations including a new three-story structure on Baer Plaza on the east side facing the Mississippi River for a main entrance as well as new suites. This proposal had the Rams picking up $64 million of that project, the CVC citing an approximate percentage of what other NFL teams had chipped in for on similar renovations. The Rams countered with a $700 million proposal that called for much of the stadium to be rebuilt including a sliding roof panel and a new four-sided center scoreboard, the Rams asserting that this would satisfy the "first tier" top quartile requirement relative to the current NFL stadium landscape. No details on how to pay for the renovations were made. The sides did not hammer out an agreement in 2012 and the matter went into arbitration hearings in January 2013. Officials noted that even if the arbitrators decide on implementing a more expensive plan and the CVC was unable to fund it the Rams would still be able to break the lease.
With no agreement between both sides in 2013 there was considerable speculation on the future of both the Rams and the stadium with some suggesting the Rams could return to Los Angeles. Further pressure for St. Louis to resolve the issue was that bonds for construction of the Dome were still being paid and will continue to be paid through 2021. Missouri will pay $12 million/year and the City and County of St. Louis will pay $6 million/year each.
On February 1, 2013, the arbitrators ruled in favor of the Rams' $700 million proposal to tear down half the Dome and replace it as the only way among the options presented to bring the Dome up to first tier status. Various city and county officials said it was unlikely that public funding would be found for such a project. Officials noted that the Rams were contractually obligated to play in the Dome until March 15, 2015, and there was no "buy out" provision to permit the Rams to move before then. City and county officials said they were considering all options including construction of a new stadium elsewhere in the St. Louis area. Rams officials, meanwhile, indicated their preference to stay in St. Louis.
The St. Louis Regional Convention (the stadium's owner) and Sports Complex Authority hired Goldman Sachs in February 2013 "to keep the Rams in the Dome, or, if that's not possible, to maintain a National Football League team in St. Louis." An attorney for St. Louis noted that Goldman had "financed or advised on the financing of every NFL stadium recently built." In April 2013, it was reported by the Wall Street Journal that the arrangement was being scrutinized by the Securities and Exchange Commission as new Dodd-Frank rules restrict firms from offering financial advice to municipalities where it also underwrites its municipal bond transactions. Eventually the hiring fell through and nothing resulted from it.
On July 2, 2013, the CVC announced that they were rejecting the Rams' renovation proposal. Missouri governor Jay Nixon had been negotiating with owner Stan Kroenke since the decision had been made. The earliest the Rams could have broken the lease on the Dome would've been following the 2014 season, but they chose not to do so in 2014.
On January 31, 2014, both the Los Angeles Times and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that Stan Kroenke purchased approximately 60 acres of land adjacent to the Forum in Inglewood, California. Commissioner Roger Goodell represented that Mr. Kroenke informed the league of the purchase. Kroenke subsequently announced plans to build an NFL stadium on the site, in connection with the owners of the adjacent 238-acre (96 ha) Hollywood Park site, Stockbridge Capital Group. This development further fueled rumors that the Rams intended to return its management and football operations to Southern California. The land was initially targeted for a Walmart Supercenter but Walmart could not get the necessary permits to build it. On January 5, 2015, The Los Angeles Times reported that Stan Kroenke and Stockbridge Capital Group were partnering up in developing a new NFL stadium on the Inglewood property owned by Kroenke. The project included a stadium with up to 80,000 seats and a performance venue of up to 6,000 seats while reconfiguring the previously approved Hollywood Park plan for up to 890,000 square feet (83,000 m2) of retail, 780,000 square feet (72,000 m2) of office space, 2,500 new residential units, a 300-room hotel and 25 acres (10 ha) of public parks, playgrounds, open space and pedestrian and bicycle access. The stadium would likely be ready by 2019.
In lieu of this St. Louis countered with a stadium plan on the north riverfront area of downtown, known as National Car Rental Field, with the hope of persuading Kroenke to keep the Rams in the city. However, on February 24, 2015, the Inglewood City Council approved the stadium and the initiative with construction planned to begin in December 2015.
This generated further debate between the NFL, St. Louis, and the Rams as to whether the Rams should be allowed to relocate when a "first tier" stadium plan was in process. The NFL and the Rams countered that the stadium plan was developed outside of the agreed-upon lease and "first tier" remediation and arbitration process, and therefore could not be considered a binding factor in preventing the Rams from relocating. In addition, the NFL and the Rams expressed concerns over the funding and maintenance of the proposed stadium, which they felt shifted too much of the costs of construction and maintenance to the Rams organization. Ultimately, as the Inglewood stadium would be built without taxpayer subsidy, that effectively sealed the fate of the Rams in St. Louis.
The last Rams game at The Dome was on Thursday, December 17, 2015, which they won, 31-23 over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Rams formally filed their request to leave St. Louis for Los Angeles on January 4, 2016. On January 12, the NFL approved the Rams' request for relocation to Los Angeles for the 2016 NFL season. Once the team left, Missouri taxpayers will shoulder the remaining $144 million in debt and maintenance costs on the stadium until the debt is paid off in 2021. In the immediate after the Rams left the Dome was mainly used for concerts and events overflow from America's Center, including the September 18, 2018 St. Louis stop for Taylor Swift's Reputation Stadium Tour. The Dome still suffers from several design flaws that make it less and less desirable as a convention center. More recently, the Regional Sports Authority has called for additional upgrades to the Dome, to remain competitive for attracting events. Upgrades in lighting, sound, video boards, and various amenities could cost as much as $300 million. Upgrades like this would continue to bring big concerts and conventions to St. Louis, and potentially allow the city to bid for large sporting events like the NCAA Men's Basketball Final Four and College Football Bowl Games. The renewal of the Illinois-Missouri football rivalry in 2026 could also potentially be held at the Dome. Similar upgrades were made to the Alamodome in San Antonio, which after $50 million in upgrades hosted the 2018 Final Four.
On November 27, 2018, sources confirmed plans by the XFL to place one of their 8 teams in St. Louis, whose five home games would be played in the Dome during the league's inaugural season in 2020. This marked the first time professional football had been played in St. Louis since the loss of the Rams. Officials at the Dome also confirmed they had previously been in talks with the former Alliance of American Football, but had to turn down hosting a team due to scheduling conflicts in spring of 2019. A busy season for the Dome, including hosting a Boat Show, a Monster Jam event, a Garth Brooks concert, and an AMA Supercross Championship event, meant that the Dome did not have five open weekends to host football games. This left an opening for the XFL to fill, which began play in spring 2020.
On December 5, 2018 at a press conference at Metlife Stadium, Oliver Luck, the CEO and Commissioner of the XFL, announced that St. Louis had been awarded a team. The XFL is a professional American football league owned by Vince McMahon's Alpha Entertainment. The Dome is the only XFL venue with a roof. Along with CenturyLink Field, it is one of two XFL venues in a downtown city center.
On December 10, 2018, news outlets released the agreement between the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission. The XFL pay a $300,000 deposit and $100,000 for every game played in the Dome. The XFL receives 100% of ticket revenue, and the CVC receives 100% of concessions and catering revenue. This contract was signed for three seasons.
At the time, XFL games do not use any seats at the Terrace Level of the Dome, bringing the capacity for games down to about 30,000. Given the high ticket sales, the team considered using the Terrace Level, but with the season truncated by the COVID-19 pandemic, those plans never came to fruition.
The first XFL game at the Dome was held on Sunday February 23, 2020 when the BattleHawks defeated the New York Guardians by a score of 29-9. Opening Day attendance was the highest in the XFL at 29,554.
During its planning and construction, the Dome was known as The Dome at America's Center. Trans World Airlines, a St. Louis-based air carrier, purchased naming rights in 1995 and held them until 2001, when TWA was acquired by American Airlines (American already has its name on two NBA/NHL venues in Dallas and Miami). During this time, the Dome was known as the Trans World Dome.
As part of a deal to sell the naming rights to Rams Park (dubbed at the time the Russell Athletic Training Center), the Rams' training facility in Earth City, Missouri, to sportswear manufacturer Russell Athletic, the Rams agreed to rename the Edward Jones Dome to Russell Athletic Field for the Rams' Monday Night Football game against the Chicago Bears on December 11, 2006. The renaming was for the one night only.
After the St. Louis Rams relocated to Los Angeles in 2016, Edward Jones exercised its right to terminate its sponsorship, and that the facility would once again be known as The Dome at America's Center.
The dome hosted five NFC playoff games, including the 1999 and 2001 NFC Championship Games, both of which the Rams won. The previous franchise, the St. Louis Cardinals, never hosted a playoff game in their history with the city (1960-1987); all of the playoff games they played came on the road.
|Date||Artist||Opening act(s)||Tour / concert name||Attendance||Revenue||Notes|
|November 8, 1997||U2||Third Eye Blind||PopMart Tour||24,807 / 50,000||$1,282,160|
|December 12, 1997||Rolling Stones||Kenny Wayne Shepherd
|Bridges To Babylon Tour||46,474 / 46,474||$2,538,881||The show was broadcast live on Pay-Per-View and was later released in edited form on VHS/DVD.|
|March 7, 2000||Backstreet Boys||Jungle Brothers
|Into the Millennium Tour||65,201 / 65,201||$2,907,413|
|July 2, 2001||*NSYNC||Lil' Romeo||Pop Odyssey Tour||31,790 / 48,808||$1,708,437|
|July 25, 2003||Metallica||Limp Bizkit
|Summer Sanitarium Tour||--||--|
|August 27, 2014||One Direction||Jamie Scott||Where We Are Tour||52,315 / 52,315||$4,281,608|
|September 10, 2016||Beyoncé||Vic Mensa||The Formation World Tour||38,256 / 38,256||$3,953,445||"Single Ladies" had a proposal|
|July 27, 2017||Guns N' Roses||Deftones||Not in This Lifetime... Tour||36,382 / 41,158||$3,533,972|
|September 18, 2018||Taylor Swift||Camila Cabello
|Taylor Swift's Reputation Stadium Tour||47,831 / 47,831||$4,884,054|
|March 9, 2019||Garth Brooks||The Garth Brooks Stadium Tour||Attendance 75,000+(Record)||Announced 11/1/18|
The Dome hosted a soccer friendly match on October 13, 2007 when the United States women's national soccer team (USWNT) played Mexico women's national football team. The United States won 5-1. Attendance for the match was 10,861.
In April 2005, the Edward Jones Dome hosted the 2005 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament Final Four. Louisville, Illinois, Michigan State and North Carolina met, with North Carolina winning the title game against Illinois.
The Dome has hosted an NCAA Men's Basketball Regional four times. In 2004, the St. Louis Regional saw Georgia Tech defeat Kansas in a final that required overtime. Tech had previously defeated Nevada while KU became the first team (and the only one to date) to score 100 points in a college basketball game in the building in its regional semifinal win over UAB. The Dome also hosted the 2007 Midwest Regional, where Florida, en route to winning its second consecutive national championship, defeated Butler and then Oregon, who had defeated UNLV in the other regional semifinal. In 2010, Michigan State eliminated Northern Iowa, and Tennessee knocked off Ohio State, before MSU beat UT to move on to the Final Four. In 2012, North Carolina beat Ohio University and Kansas defeated NC State University. In the regional final, KU defeated UNC to advance to the Final Four.
The Edward Jones Dome hosted the first Big 12 Conference football championship game in 1996 (Nebraska versus Texas). The third game, in 1998, was also held in the Dome (Kansas State versus Texas A&M). The Dome has also been a neutral site for regular-season college football match ups between the University of Illinois and the University of Missouri, promoted locally as the "Arch Rivalry". Missouri has won all six games (2002, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2009 & 2010).
The Dome held the annual Missouri State High School Activities Association football championship games from 1996 to 2015. The Show-Me Bowl had previously been contested at Faurot Field in Columbia, Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Robert W. Plaster Stadium in Springfield and Busch Memorial Stadium. MSHSAA had chosen to move to the Dome mostly because it was an indoor facility, as the football championships occurred in December. With the Rams' departure and anticipated end of football at the facility, the MSHSAA voted to return to rotating hosts, with Springfield getting the 2016 championship and Columbia in 2017.
On Saturday, July 23, 2016, the Isaac Bruce Foundation hosted a charity flag football game to raise money for the Isaac Bruce Foundation and relive great memories from the Rams' time in St. Louis. Many members of the Greatest Show on Turf including Kurt Warner, Dick Vermeil, Mike Martz, Torry Holt, Ricky Proehl, Az Hakim, Marc Bulger, Orlando Pace, Aeneas Williams, and many others were among the players and coaches involved. At halftime, 2016 Pro Football Hall of Fame and longtime Rams All-Pro left tackle Orlando Pace was honored. Retired Navy Petty Officer Generald Wilson performed the National Anthem. The former "Voice of the Rams" Steve Savard called the game live on 101 ESPN radio in St. Louis. 10,600 fans were on hand for the game.
Currently, the building hosts the annual Joyce Meyer Ministries Love Life Women's Conference, attended by 10,000 to 20,000 women each year. The building also hosts the Church of God in Christ's annual Holy Convocation. Other major religious conventions/conferences include:
|St. Louis Rams|
|St. Louis Cardinals|
|Coaches and executives|
|Head Coach||Dick Vermeil||1997-1999||2008|