St. Louis (KSDK) -- The Convention and Visitors Commission rejected the St. Louis Rams' proposal to upgrade the Edward Jones Dome, according to Mayor Francis Slay's office.
Friday was the deadline for the CVC to accept or reject the team's plan. Without upgrades, the team could get out of its lease and leave town at the end of the 2014 season.
The CVC released a statement: "The St. Louis CVC expressed to the St. Louis Rams that it believes that it is in the best interest of the community and the Rams to engage in meaningful dialogue over the next two weeks, and looks forward to the opportunity to do so at the earliest convenience of Rams management."
The two sides could be in binding arbitration by mid-June.
Earlier this year, the CVC proposed a more than $120 million makeover of the dome. The Rams responded with an estimated $700 million plan.
Robert Litz with United States Arbitration & Mediation Midwest, Inc. has worked as an arbitrator for more than 20 years and teaches arbitration at Washington University Law School.
He says the process is quicker and cheaper than going to court. And just because the two sides may be far apart now, that doesn't mean they can't still reach an agreement that would keep the Rams in St. Louis.
"I haven't been surprised by either side. This has been a high stakes negotiation," says Litz. "People posture in a negotiation and I think what we've seen so far is some posturing in this case."
If in fact the process does go to arbitration, it could take the rest of the year to resolve.