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The Dome at America's Center

 

The Dome at America's Center, known locally throughout its existence simply as "The Dome", is a multi-purpose stadium used for concerts, major conventions, and sporting events in downtown St. Louis, Missouri, United States. The stadium, previously known as the Trans World Dome from 1995 to 2001, and then as the Edward Jones Dome from 2002 to 2016, was constructed largely to lure an NFL team back to St. Louis and to serve as a convention space.

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.

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.

The facility then briefly reverted to the Dome at America's Center until the naming rights were acquired on January 25, 2002 by Edward Jones Investments, a financial services firm based in St. Louis.

Although The Dome never hosted any Super Bowls, they did however host 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 (19601987); all of the playoff games they played came on the road.

On December 5, 2018 at a press conference at Metlife Stadium, Oliver Luck, the CEO and Commissioner of the XFL (2020), announced that St. Louis has been awarded a team. The XFL will begin play in spring 2020. 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 the only XFL venue in a downtown city center.

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 Dome held the annual Missouri State High School Activities Association football championship games from 19962015. 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.

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.


 



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