Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Most Signs atop the Dome Get State OK Critics Say Billboards Mar Publicly Financed Building

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Most Signs atop the Dome Get State OK Critics Say Billboards Mar Publicly Financed Building

Article excerpt

The game isn't over, but the Rams are leading in the battle of the billboards. The state highway department says those billboards lining the top of the Trans World Dome that advertise products sold inside can stay.

The state issues permits for billboards within 660 feet of an interstate. None of the nine Dome billboards, which are visible from Interstate 70, has a permit. But the state says a permit is needed only if the ads are for products not sold at the Dome.

The highway department last week told the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission, which runs the Dome, that the ads for Budweiser and Coca-Cola can stay.

The Southwestern Bell sign is OK because the Dome has phones inside. And the department is allowing the Boatmen's Bank ad because the Dome has two automatic tellers.

But the department said ads for Dodge Ram trucks and the Missouri Lottery will have to go.

Bob Bedell, president of the convention commission, said Friday the Dome will install lottery ticket dispensing machines, making the lottery ad legal.

"They're not in yet, but they're coming," he said.

Bedell added that the commission and the Rams were "not satisfied with how the advertising looks."

"We're not going to tear the advertising off the building," he said. "But we want to make it look better. That can be done a number of ways from a design standpoint.

"It could be smaller or in different places or color coordinated. It could be more consistent and uniform. Nobody saw it before it went up. Everybody involved - the commission, the Rams, the advertisers - believes it can be done better."

Marci Horton, a lawyer with the Missouri Highway and Transportation Department, said the department has received many calls objecting to the barrage of ads on the Dome.

The Dome has 75 ads, including the nine billboards, on its front and sides. …

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