OK, so I’ve been waiting around for the scheduled decision from Rams minority owner Stan Kroenke, and I thought it was a bit strange that an announcement hadn’t been made yet by dinnertime. After I grabbed some food and dealt with Internet issues, I was blindsided by the news coming out of Kroenke’s camp. Several outlets, including the team’s official website, are reporting that Kroenke has decided to exercise his matching rights to try to purchase the remaining 60 percent share of the St. Louis Rams, making him full majority owner. Wow. I gotta say, I really didn’t see this coming. I figured there would be some obscure press release this afternoon from his people informing the public of his decision, but I never would have thought in a million years that he would have taken this path. If the ownership situation for this team was complicated before, it has now turned into a monster labyrinth with zero visibility. First, let me go on record saying I’m a Stan Kroenke fan. He is a Missouri guy, and he seems to enjoy being an owner and, more importantly, he seems to truly love the St. Louis area. Also, I may be a bit biased because he also owns the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche and the NBA’s Denver Nuggets, both of whom happen to be my favorite team in their respective sports. So yes, Kroenke owns at least part of my favorite NFL, NHL, and NBA teams. Unfortunately, the fact that he owns the Denver franchises is what is causing the problem. The NFL has a rule against cross-ownership, but Kroenke intends to discuss the situation with the league to try to come to a resolution. If the league decides not to make an exception, Kroenke will either have to sell the Nuggets and Avs or give up his rights with the Rams. Yeah, I told you it is confusing. Throw in the fact that Shadid Khan agreed to purchase the team in February, and also the fact that he said he plans to “conclude the purchase if the opportunity presents itself”, and this thing just keeps getting more interesting. For what it’s worth, it doesn’t appear as if Khan and Kroenke are on bad terms, but obviously this decision will affect their personal relationship.
So… To sum up, Kroenke has the right to purchase the rest of the team, and he appears to badly want to become the team’s majority owner. The league could very well stand in the way due to cross-ownership rules, but a man that is worth what Kroenke is worth will certainly have a major say in the matter. Kroenke has been part-owner since the team moved to St. Lou, and he is from Columbia, MO, meaning the chances the team stays here for the long haul will be greatly increased. Do I want a sports-minded billionaire who is a proven winner and has ties to the area to become full owner of this team? Absolutely. I can’t imagine a better scenario, so buckle up, because there is still a long way to go in this one. For anyone interested, here is the link to the PD story by beat writer Jim Thomas.