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  1. #1
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    Kroenke Gaining Ground in Bid to Buy Rams

    This is good news:

    Kroenke gaining ground in bid
    BY JIM THOMAS jthomas@post-dispatch.com 314-340-8197

    Tuesday, May. 25 2010
    IRVING, TEXAS There will be no vote at these NFL owners meetings on Stan
    Kroenke's attempt to purchase the 60 percent of the Rams currently up for sale.
    But it's looking more and more like he will be the team's next owner.

    Kroenke's bid gradually is coming into focus, although many details still need
    to be worked out before it's a done deal. But on Monday, as league owners
    gathered for their annual May meetings, Kroenke got his strongest public
    endorsement yet.

    "Everybody wants him as an owner, I can tell you," said New Orleans Saints
    owner Tom Benson.

    Benson is chairman of the league's finance committee, which must make a
    recommendation on Kroenke's bid before the full ownership votes on the issue.
    Although these league meetings don't officially begin until this morning, the
    finance committee did meet Monday afternoon with Kroenke answering questions
    from the committee members.

    "He's been in the league for quite a while, but as a minority owner, not the
    majority owner," Benson said. "So there's a lot of questions, that's all."

    Details of Kroenke's appearance before the committee were not immediately
    known, but another team owner told Rams officials Monday evening: "Your guy did
    well in there."

    Kroenke is asking the league for a grace period to come into compliance with
    the league's cross-ownership rules, according to league sources. A similar such
    grace period was granted to H. Wayne Huizenga in 1994 when Huizenga purchased
    the Miami Dolphins. Huizenga's purchase of the Dolphins was approved in '94 on
    the premise that if the cross-ownership policy wasn't changed by 1996, he would
    have to sell the Dolphins.

    (Huizenga actually was given an extra year making it three years total
    before the NFL's cross-ownership rules were amended in '97, allowing him to
    purchase the Dolphins even though he already owned the Miami-based Florida
    Marlins baseball team and Florida Panthers hockey team.)

    The twist with Kroenke is that he's asking for the extra time to come into
    compliance with the existing NFL cross-ownership rules. According to sources,
    Kroenke is asking for more time than Huizenga, got although the exact amount of
    time could not be determined.

    Kroenke has told the NFL that he cannot be in compliance with the
    cross-ownership rules at this time, but is asking the league to approve his
    purchase of the Rams with his promise that he will reach compliance with those
    rules in time. Presumably, there are tax complications with the sale or
    transfer of the team to a family member that will take time to sort through.

    Kroenke still has not identified his precise plan to reach compliance. But it's
    still believed that the best option is selling his Denver Nuggets basketball
    team and Colorado Avalanche hockey team to his wife, Ann.

    Kroenke's ownership of the Nuggets and Avalanche currently place him in
    violation of the cross-ownership rules if he becomes the Rams' controlling
    owner.

    Earlier reports said one option floated by Kroenke was to have his wife buy the
    Rams. But sources said the league would prefer that Kroenke, not his wife, had
    controlling interest in the Rams.

    Kroenke has owned 40 percent of the Rams since 1995, the year the team moved to
    St. Louis from the Los Angeles area. He's now trying to buy the 60 percent of
    the team owned by siblings Chip Rosenbloom and Lucia Rodriguez. If successful,
    he will own the entire team, but there are growing indications that Rosenbloom
    and Rodriguez will maintain ownership of a small percentage of the team.

    The Rams remain hopeful that the sale will be complete by the end of July or
    early August in other words, around the time training camp begins.

    "I'm optimistic that we will come to a resolution before the preseason,"
    Rosenbloom said Monday. "I think it's good for the league, it's good for us,
    it's good for Stan, and it's good for St. Louis. I really believe it. Now can
    there be obstacles? I guess."

    Although there will be discussion on Kroenke's bid at this meeting, the main
    agenda item is deciding on the site for Super Bowl XLVIII in 2014. The three
    finalists are New York City, Tampa, and Miami-Fort Lauderdale. There has never
    been a Super Bowl played in a "cold weather" city that didn't have a domed
    stadium, so this would be a first if New York (actually the Meadowlands in New
    Jersey) gets the game in its new open-air stadium. Metropolitan New York is
    thought to be the favorite for today's vote.

    "I love outdoor football," said New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft. "And
    New York is a unique opportunity for a lot of reasons. I bet if it happens,
    it'll be one of the most memorable games in the history of Super Bowls."

    League owners also may discuss expanding the new overtime rule, passed two
    months ago for the playoffs only, to the regular season. But there doesn't seem
    to be much traction for such a move at this point.

    NFL executive vice president and general counsel Jeff Pash said that Monday's
    Supreme Court ruling in the American Needle case will have no impact on efforts
    to reach a new labor agreement with the NFL Players Association.

    "This case was never about collective bargaining. It was never about labor,"
    Pash said.

    The Supreme Court ruled that the NFL must be considered as 32 separate teams
    not a single business entity when selling items such as hats or jerseys. In
    essence, the Supreme Court rejected the NFL's request for broader antitrust law
    protection.

    The immediate result is that former NFL team hat maker American Needle Inc.
    will have its lawsuit against the league returned to a lower court in Chicago.


  2. #2
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    Re: Kroenke Gaining Ground in Bid to Buy Rams

    Though Thomas doesn't make the connection, the Supreme Court decision could help Kroenke.

    The Supreme Court, in essence, ruled that while the NFL, in certain cases, can act as a collective without running afoul of antitrust laws, it cannot do so in all cases. The dividing line (blurred though it may prove to be) is the question of whether the collective decision has an unreasonable adverse impact on free trade.

    If I were Kroenke, I'd be floating the notion that this decision could be used to override the cross-ownership rule. The argument would be that an owner of an individual business (an NFL franchise) should not be prevented by a collective (the NFL) from selling his property to a buyer merely because that buyer owns another sports franchise in another city. As the rule clearly impedes fair trade, the NFL would then have to show that there is an overriding legitimate purpose to the rule to justify the action.

    Had the Supreme Court ruled the other way - finding that the NFL is a single entity with respect to all antitrust issues - such a challenge by Kroenke would be futile.

    Stated in the simplist of terms, Kroenke just got some major leverage.

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    Re: Kroenke Gaining Ground in Bid to Buy Rams

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    Though Thomas doesn't make the connection, the Supreme Court decision could help Kroenke.

    The Supreme Court, in essence, ruled that while the NFL, in certain cases, can act as a collective without running afoul of antitrust laws, it cannot do so in all cases. The dividing line (blurred though it may prove to be) is the question of whether the collective decision has an unreasonable adverse impact on free trade.

    If I were Kroenke, I'd be floating the notion that this decision could be used to override the cross-ownership rule. The argument would be that an owner of an individual business (an NFL franchise) should not be prevented by a collective (the NFL) from selling his property to a buyer merely because that buyer owns another sports franchise in another city. As the rule clearly impedes fair trade, the NFL would then have to show that there is an overriding legitimate purpose to the rule to justify the action.

    Had the Supreme Court ruled the other way - finding that the NFL is a single entity with respect to all antitrust issues - such a challenge by Kroenke would be futile.

    Stated in the simplist of terms, Kroenke just got some major leverage.
    But doesn't it seem more likely that Kroenke would gain acceptance to the old boys club of NFL owners by taking the trail blazed by Huizenga( finally, there's the story that Burwell neglected to tell about how the cross-ownwership rules were bent in the past) ? Messing with these guys' wallets in an aggressive court battle seems like the quickest way to get blackballed. Get accepted and then try to change things from within?

    It is a relief to me that Stan is reportedly thinking of transferring his other toys to his WalWife, not The Rams. The franchise hasn't exactly been well-served by plonking it into the laps of spouses and sons who haven't the expertise or interest to make it work.

    But I'd still like to know what The NFL's justification for the cross-ownership rule is, especially since Kroenke's other interests are in another city & there isn't an obvious conflict over attendance/tv audience.

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    Re: Kroenke Gaining Ground in Bid to Buy Rams

    Quote Originally Posted by Azul e Oro View Post
    But doesn't it seem more likely that Kroenke would gain acceptance to the old boys club of NFL owners by taking the trail blazed by Huizenga( finally, there's the story that Burwell neglected to tell about how the cross-ownwership rules were bent in the past) ? Messing with these guys' wallets in an aggressive court battle seems like the quickest way to get blackballed. Get accepted and then try to change things from within?
    I don't think Kroenke wants to get in a legal battle at the onset of his ownership, but the tacit threat of a suit may motivate the league to bend over backwards to accommodate him.

    But I'd still like to know what The NFL's justification for the cross-ownership rule is
    You and me both.

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    Re: Kroenke Gaining Ground in Bid to Buy Rams

    Quote:
    But I'd still like to know what The NFL's justification for the cross-ownership rule is
    You and me both.

    I don't know, but it seems to me that the NFL wants owners that are interested in the NFL and not distracted by other sports and sport venues.

    And that is why I don't think this is our guy. Lets get someone who loves football and football only. He owns other teams all over the place. Granted, he is active in Denver, building stadiums and getting fans involved. Will he devote all of his time to the Rams and getting us to the Super Bowl in Dallas? That is what concerns me. He can hand his franchises to whoever he wants; he is still the shmo calling the shots.

    In my opinion, not based on any facts, I feel that Khan is a better owner for our team. He isn't going to be distracted by who is winning in hockey this week or who did Lakers beat or what soccer jock got hurt. He will be focused on his baby, The Rams. Khan made millions out of nothing. This is his one chance to have something special.

    Enos Stanley "Stan" Kroenke made his money the old fashioned way, but he owns like 4 pro teams as well, 2 in Denver. He knows how to make Pro teams and how to make them win, but I doubt he does it alone. He has a nucleus around him to make it work. Khan will have that advantage also.

    In closing, I want an owner like Jerry Jones who eats sleeps and breaths Ram football 24 hours a day. Who is not afraid to take control of a team, go out and get the man he wants i.e. Neon Sanders. And make a head coach listen to him and his vision. I want to go watch the Rams win a football game in a great stadium like Dallas has. Don't get me wrong, I like TWA, Edward Jones or who ever bought the rights to paint on the roof. I think we have a great team with a great past and a great future.

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    Azul e Oro is offline Registered User
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    Re: Kroenke Gaining Ground in Bid to Buy Rams

    Quote Originally Posted by lordwhttgr View Post
    Quote:
    But I'd still like to know what The NFL's justification for the cross-ownership rule is
    You and me both.

    I don't know, but it seems to me that the NFL wants owners that are interested in the NFL and not distracted by other sports and sport venues.

    And that is why I don't think this is our guy. Lets get someone who loves football and football only. He owns other teams all over the place. Granted, he is active in Denver, building stadiums and getting fans involved. Will he devote all of his time to the Rams and getting us to the Super Bowl in Dallas? That is what concerns me. He can hand his franchises to whoever he wants; he is still the shmo calling the shots.

    In my opinion, not based on any facts, I feel that Khan is a better owner for our team. He isn't going to be distracted by who is winning in hockey this week or who did Lakers beat or what soccer jock got hurt. He will be focused on his baby, The Rams. Khan made millions out of nothing. This is his one chance to have something special.

    Enos Stanley "Stan" Kroenke made his money the old fashioned way, but he owns like 4 pro teams as well, 2 in Denver. He knows how to make Pro teams and how to make them win, but I doubt he does it alone. He has a nucleus around him to make it work. Khan will have that advantage also.

    In closing, I want an owner like Jerry Jones who eats sleeps and breaths Ram football 24 hours a day. Who is not afraid to take control of a team, go out and get the man he wants i.e. Neon Sanders. And make a head coach listen to him and his vision. I want to go watch the Rams win a football game in a great stadium like Dallas has. Don't get me wrong, I like TWA, Edward Jones or who ever bought the rights to paint on the roof. I think we have a great team with a great past and a great future.
    I doubt if there are many, if any, NFL owners whose primary business is their NFL team. Doesn't Kroenke still own that rental car company? Maybe football-only sports team owners are their preference but that is hard to justify legally, I would have thought.In the end, I'm sure it comes down to money; there are only so many sports entertainment dollars out there. It's just that, in Kroenke's case, it's hard for me to see the conflict of interest.Then again, no one really seems to know how the NFL makes its money & how much.

    And no way do I want a Jerry Jones. I understand & agree that you want someone passionately interested in team as well as financial success but I think they have to understand that their role is to provide the money, structure, and hire the right people to run the team then largely stay out of the way. That's not Jones or Al Davis or Snyder. Guys like Kraft, the Rooney family, and our own Carroll Rosenbloom are more my idea of great owners.

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    Re: Kroenke Gaining Ground in Bid to Buy Rams

    Quote Originally Posted by lordwhttgr View Post
    I don't know, but it seems to me that the NFL wants owners that are interested in the NFL and not distracted by other sports and sport venues.
    That's clearly NOT it. The rule allows a single person to own multiple franchises as long as they are in the same city. Nothing would prevent Kroenke from purchasing the Broncos, for example.

    And that is why I don't think this is our guy. Lets get someone who loves football and football only.
    No, what we want is someone with a lot of money who is willing to spend it on his franchises, whatever sport they might play. There is no reason to assume that Kroenke - who has been a 40% owner of the Rams for years - won't do that.

    In my opinion, not based on any facts, I feel that Khan is a better owner for our team.
    Khan is not nearly the deep pocket that Kroenke is, and he has zero experience owning a sports franchise. Could he be a good owner? Its possible. But he has no track record.

    In closing, I want an owner like Jerry Jones who eats sleeps and breaths Ram football 24 hours a day. Who is not afraid to take control of a team, go out and get the man he wants i.e. Neon Sanders. And make a head coach listen to him and his vision.


    Um... yeah... how many playoff games have the Cowboys won in the last 10 years?
    Last edited by AvengerRam; -05-26-2010 at 12:09 PM.

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    Re: Kroenke Gaining Ground in Bid to Buy Rams

    You're just mean, AV -

    (...but dead on. Jones = Snyder = Davis = no thanks!)
    "the Heart Lies and the Head Plays Tricks with us, but the Eyes See True".

  9. #9
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    Re: Kroenke Gaining Ground in Bid to Buy Rams

    I'd have to agree I'd want a owner who isn't just collecting a set of sports franchises just to do it like GI Joes or something like that as a big kid. I'd rather have effort and passion as a owner than someone who wants to pawn us off to his family member just to own us as another team. Khan is a passionate Ram fan and I think that says enough for meh..
    Go Khan!
    Go league and vote down the Wally World dynasty!

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    Re: Kroenke Gaining Ground in Bid to Buy Rams


    Kroenke's bid to purchase Rams looks like it's gaining steam


    By Bryan Burwell
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    05/26/2010

    They were two seemingly unconnected bits of news coming out of the NFL owners meetings in Irving, Texas. While one caused a ton of commotion everywhere New York/New Jersey acquiring the first outdoor Super Bowl in a cold-weather city the other, Stan Kroenke's apparent fast tracking toward full ownership of the Rams barely registered a ripple beyond the St. Louis city limits.

    Yet months (or years?) from now, if we're lucky, perhaps we'll look back on the 24-hour stretch in Texas as the remarkable momentum shifter that at long last began to hurtle the Rams back into good graces of this football-starved community. It may not be so obvious, but the NFL has done the St. Louis football public a huge favor at its two-day confab in Irving. Work with me people, this may take a while.

    Let's start with the most significant moment first. When New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson, chairman of the NFL's finance committee, told our Jim Thomas on Monday that "everybody wants (Kroenke) as an owner, I can tell you that," it was not quite a rubber stamp of approval, but it was close as you can get for the time being. Benson is on the committee that essentially recommends or rejects prospective ownership bids to the full ownership of the league. If he is touting Kroenke as a favorite of his little fraternity, what that means is there's a decent chance that the Rams will have one of the wealthiest families in American sports business in 100 percent control of the franchise before the end of the summer.

    The world of ownership in the NFL has changed dramatically since current owner Chip Rosenbloom's socialite mom and millionaire dad got into the family business more than 50 years ago. The need for participating in this high-priced playground now is no longer millions. It's billions. Rosenbloom and his sister Lucia are millionaires, not billionaires. They don't have the deep pockets to stay in the NFL ownership club for an extended period of time. Barely a year into his life as the managing partner after inheriting the franchise from his late mother, Rosenbloom knew that he wouldn't be able to conduct business on the same plane with the likes of Jerry Jones, Daniel Snyder and all the other filthy rich folks who dwell in pro football's board rooms (Note to some readers out there: "filthy rich" is not an insult. The only thing better than being rich is being filthy rich, so please stop with the angry letters to the editor. I don't hate the Kroenkes.).


    Kroenke can hang with the best of them financially, and now it appears that the league owners and commissioner Roger Goodell are going to do what we suggested a while ago: they seem willing to bend their so-called unbending cross-ownership rules to let a good friend into the club.

    If the owners decide to bend the rules as they've done in the past, it also tells an important story. It says that Kroenke will be a welcome member of the ownership fraternity, and a favorite son as well. All I've ever wanted to know when it comes to Kroenke is that he was truly interested in keeping the Rams in St. Louis, and that seems to be clear now. Everything else about him screams that he can be a major player in NFL ownership circles. And if the league can fast-track him into 100 percent ownership (or at least allow him the interim status until he can work out the difficult task of handing the other pieces of his sports empire to his wife or son), it tells me that they agree.

    He has a proven track record in the NBA and NHL. He has independent wealth from his own real estate empire, along with that real-estate expertise and the economic wherewithal to do what Jerry Jones has already done, which is build his own state-of-the-art football stadium (with a little help from the good folks of St. Louis). We can't begin to express how big that last part of the equation is.

    And that's what makes the second bit of big news at the owners meeting so interesting. New York/New Jersey getting the Super Bowl in 2014 is a big deal to us here in St. Louis because it's one more critical precedent where the NFL rewards cities (particularly cold-weather cities) when they help their owners build state-of-the-art stadiums. The owners may say that giving an outdoor Super Bowl to New York/New Jersey is a special circumstance, but when you combine it with the gift it gave to Detroit a few years ago (and every other city with a new stadium), it says something very important to me:

    Why not us?

    So as improbable as it might sound to the ears of folks in our town who grew up with a little inferiority complex, it really isn't as crazy as it sounds. I just wonder if the power brokers in the city and county are capable of being creative and proactive enough with this stadium lease business with the Rams to assist Kroenke (I repeat "assist," not do it for him) if he decides he wants a new building in lieu of trying to fix that outmoded Edward Jones Dome.

    I don't know what Kroenke wants, but at least we now know that a possible end game for this nasty lease business could be a humongous $500 million economic boost from a Super Bowl week in St. Louis.

    If cold-weather towns like Detroit and New York/New Jersey can get one, why not a Super Bowl under the Arch, too?

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    Re: Kroenke Gaining Ground in Bid to Buy Rams

    Quote Originally Posted by TheRammer View Post
    I'd have to agree I'd want a owner who isn't just collecting a set of sports franchises just to do it like GI Joes or something like that as a big kid. I'd rather have effort and passion as a owner than someone who wants to pawn us off to his family member just to own us as another team. Khan is a passionate Ram fan and I think that says enough for meh..
    Go Khan!
    Go league and vote down the Wally World dynasty!
    At this point, I'm as likely to end up the owner of the Rams as Khan is, so don't hold your breath.

  12. #12
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    Re: Kroenke Gaining Ground in Bid to Buy Rams

    Personally I'd rather have an owner who keeps his nose out of the football business that he knows barely more than nothing about. I might be a passionate fan, but I'd suck at running a team.

    All I want an owner to do is trust in his GM/HC and not hesitate to open up his wallet to aquire the players they want.

    It sounds like several of you should be Raiders fans. They already have your dream owner.

  13. #13
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    Re: Kroenke Gaining Ground in Bid to Buy Rams

    That's clearly NOT it. The rule allows a single person to own multiple franchises as long as they are in the same city. Nothing would prevent Kroenke from purchasing the Broncos, for example. AV

    Ok, can you name all the teams whos owners have multiple teams? Tampa bay, Miami and who else? The cross team ownership was waved for Miami, so that leads me to believe that there were either no cross team owners or they are scarce.

    No, what we want is someone with a lot of money who is willing to spend it on his franchises, whatever sport they might play. There is no reason to assume that Kroenke - who has been a 40% owner of the Rams for years - won't do that. AV

    Correct me if Im totally wrong, but Kroenke still owns 40% of the team and is not selling. So it would be the Khan/Kroenke team vs the just Kroenke team. Let me do my math 1+1=2, 1+0=1. Clearly 2 is better than 1.

    Khan is not nearly the deep pocket that Kroenke is, and he has zero experience owning a sports franchise. Could he be a good owner? Its possible. But he has no track record. Av

    Please read above. Once again, Khan is not going to buy Kroenkes share, just the remaining 60%. Its not Khan alone here!
    Um... yeah... how many playoff games have the Cowboys won in the last 10 years? AV

    I was going to say something smart like as many as the Rams in the last 8 years or didnt Jerral "Jerry" Wayne Jones and Jimmy Johnson/ Berry Switzer win Back to back super bowls as well as 3 of 4 in a stretch.
    But I am going to say this instead. It was the ST Louis Rams that beat a super bowl bound Dallas Cowboys 34 to 14 on October 19, 2008, forcing the Cowboys to wear their "unlucky" blue uniforms that ultimately sealed their fate and cost the Cowboys a chance at getting in the play offs and winning another Super Bowl. Way to go Rams!!!!!!!!!
    Last edited by lordwhttgr; -05-26-2010 at 08:33 PM.

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    Re: Kroenke Gaining Ground in Bid to Buy Rams

    Quote Originally Posted by RamFan_Til_I_Die View Post
    Personally I'd rather have an owner who keeps his nose out of the football business that he knows barely more than nothing about. I might be a passionate fan, but I'd suck at running a team.

    All I want an owner to do is trust in his GM/HC and not hesitate to open up his wallet to aquire the players they want.

    It sounds like several of you should be Raiders fans. They already have your dream owner.
    When I close my eyes at night I don't ever dream about old men who have run their franchises into the ground. I don't like the silver and black. I think Al Davis buys players way passed their peak. The last player he had that was real was Bo Jackson and none to mention since. I love to watch the Raiders get beat not win.

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    Re: Kroenke Gaining Ground in Bid to Buy Rams

    LW, you're a bit off on this one.

    Kroenke has not had any operational control over the Rams during the time he was a minority owner with the Frontiere/Rosenblooms. The same would be true if Khan were the majority owner.

    Kroenke as the 100% owner will be good for the Rams.

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