After months of discussion and negotiation and speculation, NFL owners could vote on Wednesday to approve the sale of the St. Louis Rams to Stan Kroenke, reports Daniel Kaplan of SportsBusiness Journal.
Kroenke already owns 40 percent of the team; he wants to buy the 60-percent stake held by the children of the late Georgia Frontiere, Chip Rosenbloom and Lucia Rodriguez. Kroenke has positioned himself for the purchase by exercising a contractual right to match the offer from businessman Shahid Khan.
Complicating the transaction is the fact that Kroenke also owns the NBA’s Denver Nuggets and the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche. The league’s cross-ownership rules permit an NFL owner to hold a franchise in another sport only if the other team plays in the same market. Kroenke hopes to circumvent the letter of the rule by handing the basketball and hockey teams to his children, who will have acquired the franchises the old-fashioned way — by having them handed to them.
Kroenke also wants to finalize the transaction in two parts, with Rosenbloom and Rodriguez holding a chunk of the franchise until Kroenke buys it all up. That twist previously created some consternation among some members of the owners’ finance committee, apparently because of the special considerations Kroenke is getting under the cross-ownership rules. Kroenke apparently believes that he should be able to proceed with a two-part purchase, because Khan’s proposal called for the same approach.
But Kaplan says progress has been made on several issues, which means that a vote could come this week, and that the transaction could be approved.
If it happens, it’ll guarantee that the franchise will have at least one “win” in a season which, if recent form holds, the Rams could end up going 0-16.