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Rams owner Stan Kroenke won more than just L.A.

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  • Rams owner Stan Kroenke won more than just L.A.

    By Dan Wetzel

    DENVER – Stan Kroenke owns three major professional sports franchises in the Denver area: the NBA Nuggets, the NHL Avalanche and the MLS Rapids, plus the Colorado Mammoth of the National Lacrosse League.

    When he is here to tend to their business, which is often, he lives in a spacious penthouse jutting out of one side and on top of the Pepsi Center, the 18,000-seat downtown arena he also owns.

    It's an incredible home, spacious and brilliantly decorated, with multiple outdoor spaces and views of both downtown and the Rocky Mountains in the distance. Once inside, it feels like a standalone home off in some gated community in the suburbs, not something that is an elevator ride from a raucous arena.

    "Convenient commute," Kroenke said with a laugh to Yahoo Sports on Saturday night while watching his Nuggets defeat the Detroit Pistons.

    It's every young sports fans' dream – can't we just live in the arena?

    "Sports and real estate development is a large part of what we do," said Kroenke, who Forbes estimates is worth $7.7 billion.

    Sports and real estate. Real estate and sports.

    It's how Stan Kroenke, despite lacking the big personality or high-profile of a Jerry Jones or a Mark Cuban, has emerged as one of the world's preeminent professional sports owners and, with construction set to begin on a state-of-the-art, 100,000-capacity, clear-roofed stadium in a 300-acre development in Inglewood, Calif., undeniably one of the most powerful figures in sports in this country.

    The franchises here in Colorado are big, his other two are bigger. There is the London-based Arsenal Football Club of the English Premier League and its home arena, Emirates Stadium, the third largest in England.

    Then there are the Rams of the NFL, which after approval this month from the NFL will leave St. Louis and return to their Los Angeles roots and into what is expected to be the envy of any venue in the world. It was Kroenke, who after two-plus decades solved the NFL's L.A. riddle, something many billionaires, businessmen, entertainment moguls, governors, mayors and so on couldn't.

    "The NFL had a problem out there, I was on the committee [looking at relocation possibilities] for years," Kroenke said. "We never got anything done. It's hard to get things done in California."

    Hard, but, it turns out, not impossible.


    Kroenke, 68, grew up in rural Missouri, where as a child he served as a bookkeeper to his father, a small business owner. He later attended the University of Missouri, where he also earned an MBA. He focused on real estate and operates a vast array of companies and interests, although he still carries himself with a calm, down-home style that belies his immense wealth. His preferred drink is a very cold Coors Light. His wife, Ann Walton Kroenke, is herself a billionaire, part of the Wal-Mart family fortune.


    This is the background, the experience, the financial might, the business acumen and the quiet but determined personality that was probably required to solve one of professional sports' most vexing challenges.
    Kroenke was brought in as a local Missouri-based minority owner for the Rams in 1994 to help move the franchise to St. Louis, where the city had built, entirely with public funds, a dome stadium that lacked a tenant. In 2010 he took over full ownership, but plans for a new stadium were slow and complicated and forced him to find alternative options.

    In L.A. he quietly purchased the land, most of it the old Hollywood Park racetrack, to put up a sporting palace.

    "As a real-estate developer, its 300 acres," Kroenke said. "Three-hundred acres in a city like Los Angeles, in the middle of everything, is very, very unusual to say the least. So that's a real-estate developer's dream."

    The project will include much-needed retail, housing and office space for the area, plus the cutting-edge stadium. Costs are expected to soar well over $2 billion. While the NFL has granted San Diego Chargers owner Dean Spanos a one-year window to join Kroenke as a partner on the project, even if Kroenke goes it alone, there will be no direct public funding, almost unheard of in sports business these days.

    The plan, both the concept of the stadium and the competency of Kroenke's team, overwhelmed Spanos' attempt for a joint stadium with the Raiders down in Carson, Calif. The vote went 30-2. Now they are awaiting Spanos' decision. If Spanos passes, Raiders owner Mark Davis has one year to consider coming also.

    "There is tremendous excitement," Kroenke said. "It's amazing."


    Last Monday, the Rams offered a chance for fans to get on a list to buy up to eight tickets each for games the next three years at the L.A. Coliseum, while the new venue is being built. It's already approaching 50,000, an eye-popping number even for the NFL, and if all come through it would easily exhaust supply.

    While the league never doubted there would be interest, the vision for the epic stadium closer to the city's moneyed Westside is undoubtedly a factor. This is L.A., where they expect big things. So too is the fact it is the Rams that are returning, where a fan base that grew up with them are now in middle age.

    Kroenke related a story about a man who was wearing a Rams jersey during the week of the NFL vote as a public display of hope.

    "He said, 'I grew up rooting for the Rams and when they left for St. Louis [in 1995] it was tough for me. So this could be the best week I've had in 21 years,'" Kroenke said.

    The process, of course, wasn't all fun. Kroenke notes that the league purposely makes relocation difficult because "it should be difficult." It is almost always preferred that teams remain in their current markets. However, the realities of the stadium lease in St. Louis and the enormous possibilities of moving to the nation's entertainment capital was too much. He's a businessman and has never apologized for it.

    Kroenke talks of needing rhino hide to deal with some of the anger back in St. Louis – the reaction could be described as nuclear, if not worse. The truth, however, was he never misled about the possibility of a move, speaking bluntly about the challenges of staying and the possibilities of leaving from the start.

    At least some of the local media, most notably Bryan Burwell, the late, great St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist, paid attention and wrote extensively about Kroenke demonstrating a willingness to make an unpopular business move. The portrayals through the years weren't always flattering, but they spoke to an owner who wasn't hiding behind glad-handing or phony news conferences (he rarely speaks to the media at all).

    Perhaps no one else paid attention or believed Burwell that it could happen. Perhaps they thought L.A. was impossible, or underestimated Kroenke. Perhaps they just couldn't see past the Arch. This despite year after year Kroenke making clear statements and buying land in Southern California that spoke to his resolve.

    Kroenke is acutely aware of how some fans in Missouri feel about the team returning to L.A. He also knows there is no simple answer that solves that.

    "There's an emotional side to it," Kroenke said. "I understand that. I also think that people in Missouri understand you can't just throw rational thought to the wind. You have to do something that makes sense. And by the way, the league and my partners are not going to let me stay in a deal that doesn't make any sense."

    Business is business. It's what got the Rams out of L.A. in the first place, after all. Still, what do you say to the regular guy who just wanted to have a team?

    "I say that 22 years ago they had a stadium that was built and it had no team," Kroenke said. "And we had a lot to do with bringing a team in for 21 years. And by the way we won a Super Bowl and participated in another one. Some people never do who have been around the league a long time, so I'm proud of that.

    "I understand the emotional side of it. But it has to make sense."


    There is little question that L.A. makes sense. On a macro scale having a team and stadium there rather than Missouri is non-comparable. It's not just the Rams and potentially the Chargers or Raiders who will play at the new stadium, set to open in 2019. It will assuredly host Super Bowls, Final Fours, college regular-season and bowl games, not to mention concerts, rodeos, political conventions and anything else they can think up.

    Jerry Jones has said he expects it to eclipse his AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, as the country's finest venue.

    "The commissioner [Roger Goodell] said he thought it would be the greatest sports complex in the world," Kroenke said. "I'm proud of our architects. It's a great place that everyone knows, Hollywood Park. I love it. We've got a great design, a spectacular stadium and it's a fantastic place to do everything.

    "It's an opportunity that doesn't come along every day."

    Actually, it was there for the taking for two decades. No one could get it done. Stan Kroenke, a guy who cumulatively lives months each year inside a sports venue, did. Maybe that total immersion was it. He was a billionaire who was hands-on every step in the way.

    The hardest part done, the NFL political battle and relocation behind him, L.A. is now more about fun, the dream project to see fulfilled. The new stadium will have everything, except one thing – a built-in home like this one.

  • #2
    Re: Rams owner Stan Kroenke won more than just L.A.

    Originally posted by MauiRam View Post
    By Dan Wetzel

    DENVER – Stan Kroenke owns three major professional sports franchises in the Denver area: the NBA Nuggets, the NHL Avalanche and the MLS Rapids, plus the Colorado Mammoth of the National Lacrosse League.

    When he is here to tend to their business, which is often, he lives in a spacious penthouse jutting out of one side and on top of the Pepsi Center, the 18,000-seat downtown arena he also owns.

    It's an incredible home, spacious and brilliantly decorated, with multiple outdoor spaces and views of both downtown and the Rocky Mountains in the distance. Once inside, it feels like a standalone home off in some gated community in the suburbs, not something that is an elevator ride from a raucous arena.

    "Convenient commute," Kroenke said with a laugh to Yahoo Sports on Saturday night while watching his Nuggets defeat the Detroit Pistons.

    It's every young sports fans' dream – can't we just live in the arena?

    "Sports and real estate development is a large part of what we do," said Kroenke, who Forbes estimates is worth $7.7 billion.

    Sports and real estate. Real estate and sports.

    It's how Stan Kroenke, despite lacking the big personality or high-profile of a Jerry Jones or a Mark Cuban, has emerged as one of the world's preeminent professional sports owners and, with construction set to begin on a state-of-the-art, 100,000-capacity, clear-roofed stadium in a 300-acre development in Inglewood, Calif., undeniably one of the most powerful figures in sports in this country.

    The franchises here in Colorado are big, his other two are bigger. There is the London-based Arsenal Football Club of the English Premier League and its home arena, Emirates Stadium, the third largest in England.

    Then there are the Rams of the NFL, which after approval this month from the NFL will leave St. Louis and return to their Los Angeles roots
    I got this far and had to comment before reading farther.

    This guy is clearly not that football intelligent. If he was, he would know that the RAMS' roots are in Cleveland. LA is just one of the many branches (including Anaheim).


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    • #3
      Re: Rams owner Stan Kroenke won more than just L.A.

      Good article. This guy, for whatever you think personally of him, is living the dream. Owning sports franchises like I own potato chips. And living in HIS arena to boot.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Rams owner Stan Kroenke won more than just L.A.

        Originally posted by gap View Post
        .

        If he was, he would know that the RAMS' roots are in Cleveland. LA is just one of the many branches (including Anaheim).
        Riddle me this batman, if I give you a cutting from a strain of Toledo Window Box sinsemilla, and you decide to let it sprout roots in the floodplains of the Missouri, where are the roots of your flora?

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Rams owner Stan Kroenke won more than just L.A.

          Originally posted by adarian_too View Post
          Riddle me this batman, if I give you a cutting from a strain of Toledo Window Box sinsemilla, and you decide to let it sprout roots in the floodplains of the Missouri, where are the roots of your flora?
          Admittedly, I had to google this to get my answer, but it would be George Carlin.

          The answer to your question in relation to the article above would probably be Mexico, but could be Toledo.

          The answer to your question in relation to your question, it would be Missouri. But that means the article would need to be changed to say they are leaving their roots in St. Louis to go to their other roots in LA.


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          • #6
            Re: Rams owner Stan Kroenke won more than just L.A.

            Originally posted by MauiRam View Post
            Kroenke talks of needing rhino hide to deal with some of the anger back in St. Louis – the reaction could be described as nuclear, if not worse. The truth, however, was he never misled about the possibility of a move, speaking bluntly about the challenges of staying and the possibilities of leaving from the start.
            Now, this is a blatant lie.

            Kroenke NEVER spoke to anyone other than to say "I'm going to attempt to do everything that I can to keep the Rams in St. Louis. Just as I did everything that I could to bring the team to St. Louis in 1995. I believe my actions speak for themselves."

            So, now we have someone with his head up the lower end of Kroenke's alimentary canal wanting to rewrite history?

            All this entire "article" says can be summed up in a sentence: "My name is Dan Wetzel, I just jumped on the Kroenke bandwagon, and I'm more than willing to praise Stan Kroenke so I hopefully can get some of the positive fallout from Inglewood, and I am not above acting like a cheerleader and lying to sell an article. I've been a Rams fan since they were in Chicago back in the 60's...".

            I bet this guy was a Seahawks fan last year, and a Patriots fan a couple of years before that, and had shattered dreams of being a speech writer for a politician.
            temp_4394_1467243487543_20
            RAMS!

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Rams owner Stan Kroenke won more than just L.A.

              Originally posted by gap View Post
              I got this far and had to comment before reading farther.

              This guy is clearly not that football intelligent. If he was, he would know that the RAMS' roots are in Cleveland. LA is just one of the many branches (including Anaheim).


              gap
              .
              Bearing in mind that the Rams spent 10 years in Cleveland, 49 years in LA and 20 years in St. Louis, I would venture to guess that most Rams fans, unless they are younger than 20 years of age or older than 80 would consider them as having their roots in LA.
              Clannie Nominee for ClanRam's Thickest Poster

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Rams owner Stan Kroenke won more than just L.A.

                Originally posted by Yodude View Post
                Bearing in mind that the Rams spent 10 years in Cleveland, 49 years in LA and 20 years in St. Louis, I would venture to guess that most Rams fans, unless they are younger than 20 years of age or older than 80 would consider them as having their roots in LA.
                Being uninformed doesn't make you right.


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                • #9
                  Re: Rams owner Stan Kroenke won more than just L.A.

                  You guys crack me up with this Cleveland crap. Cleveland is their birthplace, where they originated from, not their home. They left Cleveland and nobody even fought for them. Home is where they were raised, where their roots run the deepest and rose to fame. So you are telling us the Dodgers home is Brooklyn, The S.F Giants home is NY, The A's is Philly, The Orioles is St. Louis, etc etc etc. Give it it up. It's old,
                  it's tiring & do you think anyone in Cleveland cared when they moved or cares now that they have been gone 70 years.
                  Brian

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Rams owner Stan Kroenke won more than just L.A.

                    Originally posted by BIG-BLUE View Post
                    You guys crack me up with this Cleveland crap. Cleveland is their birthplace, where they originated from, not their home. They left Cleveland and nobody even fought for them. Home is where they were raised, where their roots run the deepest and rose to fame. So you are telling us the Dodgers home is Brooklyn, The S.F Giants home is NY, The A's is Philly, The Orioles is St. Louis, etc etc etc. Give it it up. It's old,
                    it's tiring & do you think anyone in Cleveland cared when they moved or cares now that they have been gone 70 years.
                    Brian
                    So is POC like you degrading fans from STL, as if they don't count or deserve to be fans. Why don't you give it up with your tired old idea that LA is the home of the RAMS. LA is just one of many stops as they bilk the fans for all they can get, and then break their hearts by moving some place else.

                    And to answer your question, "Yes, to every one." And they were the Browns, not the Orioles.


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                    • #11
                      Re: Rams owner Stan Kroenke won more than just L.A.

                      Who said anything about degrading St. Louis fans?
                      Looks like you just want to sling mud at whoever doesn't agree with you.
                      If that's what you need to do, go ahead if it makes you feel better about yourself.
                      Just pointing out the Cleveland stuff is an old & tired act.
                      By the way I loved my time in St. Louis & was well received by the local fans.
                      And yes I know they were the Browns.
                      As I also know the Rams are home.
                      Brian

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Rams owner Stan Kroenke won more than just L.A.

                        Originally posted by gap View Post
                        Being uninformed doesn't make you right.


                        gap
                        .
                        Uninformed has nothing to do with it. I wasn't saying no one knows they are from Cleveland so it doesn't count. Most people who follow the Rams know they originated in Cleveland. I'm saying no one cares. 50 of the first 60 years of their history was spent in LA, so most fans would agree that their roots are more in LA than anywhere else. With the possible exception of a handful of 90+ year old fans that would actually remember them playing in Cleveland.

                        If your going to reference another post and comment on it at least make some sense.
                        Clannie Nominee for ClanRam's Thickest Poster

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Rams owner Stan Kroenke won more than just L.A.

                          Originally posted by Yodude View Post
                          Uninformed has nothing to do with it. I wasn't saying no one knows they are from Cleveland so it doesn't count. Most people who follow the Rams know they originated in Cleveland. I'm saying no one cares. 50 of the first 60 years of their history was spent in LA, so most fans would agree that their roots are more in LA than anywhere else. With the possible exception of a handful of 90+ year old fans that would actually remember them playing in Cleveland.

                          If your going to reference another post and comment on it at least make some sense.
                          Just because I don't agree with your extremely LA biased opinions, based on false truth, doesn't mean it doesn't make sense. You're just trying justify your belief in a false truth by saying the LA opinion is the only one that counts.

                          The RAMS roots are in Cleveland, no matter how you slice it, and everywhere else is a branch.

                          Now, if you really want to press the matter, the RAMS roots are in the Cincinnati Reds. It was their charter that was sold to St. Louis. They played three games in 1934 as the Gunners, but then the Gunners would not be invited to remain in the NFL, and returned to the independent circuit. The Cleveland RAMS assumed the vacated spot in 1937 when most AFL teams were folding due to effects of the depression.

                          As far as the Pro football RAMS name goes, the roots are in the Cleveland RAMS that started as an AFL team in 1936.


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                          • #14
                            Re: Rams owner Stan Kroenke won more than just L.A.

                            Bearing in mind that the Rams spent 10 years in Cleveland, 49 years in LA and 20 years in St. Louis, I would venture to guess that most Rams fans, unless they are younger than 20 years of age or older than 80 would consider them as having their roots in LA.

                            And when are the Cardinals going to reclaim their roots and go back to being the Racine Street Cardinals?(Racine Street is south side Chicago)
                            While we are at it. The Bears ought to go back to their roots in Decatur, Illinois.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Rams owner Stan Kroenke won more than just L.A.

                              Originally posted by BIG-BLUE View Post
                              You guys crack me up with this Cleveland crap. Cleveland is their birthplace, where they originated from, not their home. They left Cleveland and nobody even fought for them. Home is where they were raised, where their roots run the deepest and rose to fame. So you are telling us the Dodgers home is Brooklyn, The S.F Giants home is NY, The A's is Philly, The Orioles is St. Louis, etc etc etc. Give it it up. It's old,
                              it's tiring & do you think anyone in Cleveland cared when they moved or cares now that they have been gone 70 years.
                              Brian
                              It's funny how a couple people come into these threads already with their panties in a bunch getting ready to jump on their soap box and yell Cleveland! They know they aren't going to like the article but they come into the thread anyways just so they can act like children. I love the argument, if we follow it to its natural conclusion the NFL would be 14 teams all in Cleveland and Chicago.
                              The restoration is complete!

                              Comment

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                              • r8rh8rmike
                                Kroenke Sparks NFL Chaos
                                by r8rh8rmike
                                Kroenke sparks NFL chaos

                                Rams owner Stan Kroenke's plan to move the team to L.A. raises eyebrows

                                Originally Published: March 18, 2015
                                By David Fleming | ESPN The Magazine

                                THE FIRST PIECE of property Stan Kroenke ever cared about sits abandoned now, perched on the edge of an endless swath of farmland, sinking into the thick coffee-colored soil of central Missouri. Some of the original charm of Enos Stanley Kroenke's quaint childhood home in Mora (population: 424) remains intact. The green front door still features an old-fashioned brass and porcelain doorbell crank. The intricate wood detailing under the roof eaves has survived. But after years of neglect by the current owners, who converted the old water well into a TV antenna, any gust of wind can scatter giant flakes of gray house paint across the overgrown landscaping. "It was a beautiful little farmhouse at one time," whispers a neighbor. "It's not now."

                                Kroenke, the multibillionaire real estate developer and owner of the St. Louis Rams, once recounted how he used to sit on the narrow front porch here and, as the summer sun set behind the corn, soak in the faint, scratchy radio broadcasts of the St. Louis Cardinals with his father and grandfather. Alvin Kroenke so loved the Cardinals that he named his eldest son after two of 
the team's homegrown Hall of Famers: the hardworking Enos "Country" Slaughter and the quiet, humble effortless hitter Stan "the Man" Musial.

                                Today, though, the family's once idyllic front porch is full of gaping holes in its weather-worn floorboards. And Missourians fear that Kroenke's relationship with his native state 
is falling into similar disrepair.

                                Since January, the reclusive Kroenke, 67, has been maneuvering his NFL team west, out of Missouri and into what would be the crown jewel of his massive real estate development and sports empire: a proposed 80,000-seat NFL stadium in Inglewood, California, with a space-age retractable roof, open-air sides and a U.S.-record $1.86 billion budget.

                                Five decades after he left Mora, Kroenke has amassed a net worth of $6.3 billion, according to Forbes, and through his array of vineyards, ranches and strip malls, many of them anchored by Wal-Mart, he has become the eighth-largest landowner in the United States. All the while, he has collected sports franchises like vintage cars. Besides the Rams, he owns the English Premier League team Arsenal, valued at $1.3 billion, the Denver Nuggets, the Colorado Avalanche, MLS's Colorado Rapids, the Colorado Mammoth of the National Lacrosse League and Denver's Pepsi Center, where he maintains a 12,000-square-foot penthouse apartment on the top two floors, complete with a theater, a gym and pristine views of the Rockies.

                                Most of these, however, would become secondary knickknacks if Kroenke is indeed the man who brings...
                                -03-23-2015, 12:36 PM
                              • GreatestShow99
                                No chance of a comeback
                                by GreatestShow99
                                No chance of a comeback
                                By Dane Watkins / January 21st, 2015
                                Between the two of us, my father and I have witnessed nearly every moment of the pitiful pro football on display in St. Louis over the past 55 years, first with the Cardinals, and then with the Rams. But for the first time in my life, we will not be renewing our season tickets with the Rams.

                                The Rams have broken my heart year after year, disappointed me, and left me wondering why I spend my money and my time watching them play. It’s been a part of my life since I was three years old.

                                Unfortunately, recent events have changed all that. I never thought I would stop watching the Rams, but what transpired over the past few weeks was too much to endure.

                                Stan Kroenke, owner of the Rams, has decided the team will be playing football in Los Angeles soon. While nothing is official yet, the Rams are as good as gone.

                                Kroenke has the money (he’s one of the richest human beings on the planet, and his wife “Princess Wal-Mart” is worth more than him), he has the land (a however-many-acre plot in Inglewood, California with space not only for a stadium but room to develop parking lots and mini malls to accompany the field and fatten his wallet) and he has the team.

                                People have tried telling me not to worry—that it’s presumptuous to think the Rams will leave, that there’s no need to fret yet. They say the NFL has ruled out submissions to relocate in 2015—true, but not in 2016. They say the NFL owners wanted to control the LA market and that they don’t trust or like Kroenke. They say the NFL’s own bylaws prohibit a team from re-locating unless they have negotiated “in good faith” with the home city. They say it’s too early to say anything for certain.

                                Please. To believe the Rams will be in St. Louis in five years is incredibly naïve.

                                Firstly, the other NFL owners may not like Kroenke, but they do like money. And a team in LA would mean more money for them.

                                The NFL has owned the LA market for 20 years and done virtually nothing with it. Never before has such a viable owner, location and team been available for relocation.

                                It’s hard to move a team to Los Angeles; the real-estate market is a mess and the taxes are astronomical. But Kroenke already has the land, and can afford the taxes. They might not like him, but he can make them more money. A team in the second-biggest TV market in the United States will bring in more cash than a team in St. Louis. It’s simple and unfortunate math. If the LA Clippers are worth $2 billion, how high might the Rams’ stock rise if they were to move?

                                As for the NFL’s bylaws, they aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on. They were designed to keep people from owning professional sports teams in different franchises and thus tamper with different markets.

                                But the NFL is already making exceptions for Kroenke...
                                -01-25-2015, 10:58 AM
                              • MauiRam
                                Bernie: Give NFL a victory, Kroenke a defeat ..
                                by MauiRam
                                BY BERNIE MIKLASZ
                                Thursday, March 29, 2012

                                Rams owner Stan Kroenke failed in his high-stakes attempt to make a winning bid for the Los Angeles Dodgers. A group put together by Magic Johnson won the auction and shocked the sports world with a successful, if crazy, $2 billion offer.

                                This may have been a loss for Kroenke, but it was a win for multiple parties.

                                This was a win for the NFL.

                                I don't think the NFL wanted Kroenke further distracted by adding yet another toy to his collection of sports franchises. The NFL would like to see Kroenke do his best to fix the Rams and come up with a resolution to the stadium-lease issue.

                                I don't think the NFL was much interested in getting into another rules skirmish with Kroenke. Had he purchased the Dodgers, Kroenke would have been in violation of the league's cross-ownership policy, because the NFL controls the LA market. The NFL gets to avoid that potential conflict.

                                It was also a win for baseball Commissioner Bud Selig. His trusted ally, longtime baseball executive Stan Kasten, is part of the winning group. Kasten will run the Dodgers; MLB got to keep this in the family.

                                Kroenke did pass muster financially to qualify as one of three finalists for the Dodgers. But MLB wasn't enthusiastic about handing a crown-jewel franchise to a largely absentee owner who has so many other teams and business interests. The Dodgers occupy a special spot in baseball's heritage and deserve undivided attention.

                                Moreover, MLB probably didn't want the Dodgers and Chavez Ravine to be in the middle of Kroenke's potential maneuvering for an NFL franchise in Los Angeles.

                                It was a win for Dodgers fans, who are happy to have an LA sports icon in place at Chavez Ravine. Magic Johnson didn't fund the $2 billion purchase, but he recruited the money men, and he'll be on the ground in LA as the constant face of the franchise. Kroenke was no match for Johnson's LA's cachet, connection or vast popularity.

                                OK, so what does Kroenke's defeat mean for Rams fans?

                                Answer: to be determined.

                                Kroenke lost a little leverage in St. Louis when the Dodgers slipped away from him. Rams fans and some uninformed pundits already were in a frenzied state, convinced that Kroenke (A) would get the Dodgers and (B) move the Rams to Los Angeles approximately 18 seconds later.

                                It was never that simple, because the NFL plans on being doggedly protective of the LA market and will tightly control the process of putting a team there. The price on the Dodgers' sale only reinforced how valuable a LA-based NFL franchise would be for the owner, and the league isn't just going to allow anyone to sweep in and cash in. That's obvious, but the reality did nothing to prevent the paranoia from festering in St. Louis.

                                It only strengthened Kroenke's leverage to have the...
                                -03-30-2012, 01:39 AM
                              • MauiRam
                                If Stan Kroenke gets the Dodgers, doesn't L.A. get the Rams?
                                by MauiRam
                                Los Angeles Times
                                By T.J. Simers
                                February 1, 2012

                                Will St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke be the one who helps steer a football team back to Los Angeles?

                                I had dinner with Georgia Frontiere, where the Rams' owner chose to tell me about each of her seven husbands — four too many for me to make a newspaper deadline and still explain to the people of Los Angeles how she had just won approval to move her team to St. Louis.

                                I hopped into a waiting limo in Oakland, expecting to find Al Davis, but got a pair of Raiderettes instead. So I never did get around to meeting with Davis to discuss the possibility of the Raiders returning to L.A.

                                Former super-agent Michael Ovitz sent a martini to my hotel room and had Tom Cruise and Jerry West call to talk football and the prospect of bringing the NFL back to town. Ovitz also asked me not to park my Ford Escort in front of his Rockingham home so no one might think he was entertaining a poor person.

                                When it comes to the NFL and L.A., I find almost nothing too far-fetched. But now maybe comes the capper of them all.

                                If Frank McCourt chooses Stan Kroenke as the Dodgers' winning bidder, McCourt does something that Eli Broad, Ed Roski, Mayor Riordan, Peter O'Malley and so many others could not do.

                                He not only brings the NFL back to town, but he gives fans here the Rams again.

                                There is no other reason for Kroenke to bid on the Dodgers, even though there are NFL rules that prevent an owner from owning a baseball team in one city and a football team in another.

                                Imagine a statue of McCourt outside L.A.'s new football stadium, his arms outstretched and palms up in the hopes someone might drop a dollar or two in them.

                                Crazy, I know, but no more so than driving to a dog track in Tampa years ago with the daughter, her Notre Dame roommate, Rams executive John Shaw, his wife-to-be and Kroenke all jammed into a rental car.

                                I've seen Kroenke, who married the daughter of the co-founder of Wal-Mart, go pale losing a $2 show bet on some poky mutt. So I remain somewhat dubious he will be the last bidder standing after McCourt squeezes the very last nickel out of bidders.

                                But I do like the idea of greeters outside a stadium as fans arrive.

                                I can't imagine McCourt ripping Kroenke off, but Kroenke is the determined sort. He wanted badly to be a sports owner, and now he not only owns the Rams but the Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche, Colorado Rapids and Mammoth as well as the British soccer powerhouse Arsenal.

                                He also owns a pair of wineries, and if you owned the Rams wouldn't you need a drink?

                                He has a home in Malibu, and he put together a sports TV network in Colorado, which the new owner of the Dodgers may want to do here.

                                If you live in St. Louis, today is the deadline for the Convention...
                                -02-02-2012, 09:48 AM
                              • MauiRam
                                Bernie: Way too early to panic about Rams ..
                                by MauiRam
                                BY BERNIE MIKLASZ, Sunday, June 12, 2011 11:00 am

                                When word got out that the Rams had been contacted by the group that's trying to recruit an NFL team for Los Angeles, it caused a wave of panic in St. Louis.

                                This apparently was headline news. Judging by the way the story was played up by St. Louis television stations, you would have thought a fleet of moving vans was out at Rams Park, loading up Sam Bradford and the team's other worldly possessions for an immediate transfer to LA.

                                But really, was anyone really shocked? Los Angeles obviously wants an NFL franchise to anchor a massive stadium project there. The Rams are one of several NFL teams drawing attention from LA for obvious reasons.

                                This isn't exactly a covert CIA operation. Teams with stadium issues in their home markets are being targeted. The Rams qualify; they'll probably be free to vacate their Edward Jones Dome lease after the 2014 season.

                                So naturally the Rams and owner Stan Kroenke are going to get a call from LA.

                                It would be more surprising if they didn't get a call from LA.

                                But just because someone expresses interest in your football team, it doesn't mean the team is moving. There's a long way to go in this game. As it is, the Rams are committed to playing four more seasons of football at The Ed. A lot can be done between now and then.

                                And if billionaire Philip Anschutz — the billionaire behind the LA project — wants a team, the Rams may be the wrong fit. He's apparently looking to purchase a team as part of moving it to LA.

                                Why would Kroenke want to sell the Rams to Anschutz? Kroenke helped bring the Rams to St. Louis in 1995 by stepping forward to become Georgia Frontiere's ownership partner and buying 40 percent of the team.

                                Kroenke patiently hung on to that 40 percent share for 15 years, until he finally had the chance to buy full control of the Rams. But before becoming the owner, Kroenke had to work out a complicated arrangement with the NFL to get around the league's rules prohibiting cross ownership.

                                Kroenke has owned the Rams for less than a year. Buying his way into the NFL inner circle of owners was obviously an important quest for Kroenke. So after going through 15 years of waiting to make it happen, why would Kroenke want to give up his seat in the owners' circle?

                                This makes no sense. And Kroenke is a buyer and a collector, not a seller. Just look at all of the sports properties he's purchased or developed: the NFL Rams, the NBA Denver Nuggets, the NHL Colorado Avalanche, the Pepsi Center in Denver, the MLS Colorado Rapids, a soccer stadium in Colorado, a pro lacrosse team in Colorado, and the Arsenal soccer club in the English Premier League.

                                Sure, Kroenke could try to move the team without selling it. But in my conversations with Kroenke, he has consistently and repeatedly stated...
                                -06-12-2011, 11:30 AM
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