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Cross-ownership issue looms for Kroenke

San Francisco Giants v Los Angeles Dodgers Getty Images

In late January, when Rams owner Stan Kroenke emerged as a potential buyer for the L.A. Dodgers, we asked the league about the potential application of the cross-ownership rules.

“We have not been presented with any proposal to evaluate,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said at the time.  “Thus, we will refrain from speculating.”

Less than two months later, with Kroenke now one of three finalists to buy the team, the league still may not be ready to speculate, but it’s definitely ready to act in the event that Kroenke emerges as the new owner of the Dodgers.

“I have told Commissioner Selig this, if [Kroenke] is ultimately the winning bid, then we would immediately move with our committees and our membership to have the discussion,” Commissioner Roger Goodell said Monday at the league meetings.  “So we would move as quickly as possible knowing that it is an important issue for baseball.”

For now, even though no NFL team is in Los Angeles, a potential issue seems to exist under the cross-ownership rules.

“[Kroenke] is aware of it,” Goodell said.  “Baseball is aware of it.  It would have to be addressed by our membership.”

Kroenke undoubtedly would contend that, because no NFL team currently resides in the L.A. market, he may own a non-NFL sports franchise there.  But Goodell also said Monday that Los Angeles is a “league market,” which could mean that even without a team in L.A. at the moment, the NFL believes the cross-ownership rules apply.  (We have requested clarification from the league office.)

It could be a matter of form over substance.  The NFL had no problem with Kroenke committing to shift control of the NBA’s Denver Nuggets and the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche once he became owner of the Rams.  (In fact, Kroenke still actively owns the two Denver-area non-NFL franchises; under the deal with the NFL, the transition won’t happen until 2014.)  The league will likely find a way around this one, especially since the NFL would be getting involved at a time when it would be a little awkward, to say the least, to tell Kroenke he can’t buy the Dodgers.

If the NFL were going to block Kroenke from buying the Dodgers, the time to act would have been back in January, when the league regarded the entire issue as a matter of speculation.

In the interim, look for more speculation to emerge regarding a possible move of the Rams to Los Angeles — and regarding the possible construction of a stadium adjacent to Dodgers Stadium.

“We have often said that is an extraordinary stadium site up at Dodgers Stadium, and it is something we were interested in going back to the 1990s,” Goodell said.

And then there were three potential locations for an NFL venue in Los Angeles.  Just like the three candidates to own the Dodgers.

Look for this to come to a head soon.  The winning bidder for the Dodgers is due to be identified by April 1.

UPDATE 8:04 a.m. ET: NFL spokesman Greg Aiello says via email that “L.A. is treated as an NFL market for purposes of the policy. It was designated as an NFL market by the league (32 clubs collectively) after the departure of the Rams and Raiders from L.A.”

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38 Responses to “Cross-ownership issue looms for Kroenke”
  1. deanvernonwormer says: Mar 27, 2012 7:19 AM

    Cross owning is better than cross dressing.

  2. joetoronto says: Mar 27, 2012 7:20 AM

    It’s looking more and more like the Rams to L.A. and the Jags to St.Louis.

  3. chrisritch93 says: Mar 27, 2012 7:24 AM

    I’m sure the PFT staff are experts on cross dressing, they are on everything else.

  4. metalhead65 says: Mar 27, 2012 7:26 AM

    and still nobody but you and the league cares there is not a team in l.a. certainly not the fans who did ot support the rams or the raiders while they were there so why do they get another shot to not support a team? sure they will attend when a team first moves there but after the newness wears off? and if they are not winning then you will be writing about that team moving in 10 years. how can the rams whine about a stadium not even 20 years old? I have been to games there and it is a wonderful building. no wonder minnesota is not in a rush to build a new one,the owner will be crying about that one in 10 years.

  5. fitzmagic1212 says: Mar 27, 2012 7:28 AM

    Anyone else hate L.A? I hope the team that goes there fails like they always have. Terrible fans.

  6. eastsideballa says: Mar 27, 2012 7:30 AM

    Kroenke, what a terrible name.

  7. sportsmeccabi says: Mar 27, 2012 7:32 AM

    First world problems.

  8. mightyleemoon says: Mar 27, 2012 7:35 AM

    Los Angeles Rams

  9. eaglesw00t says: Mar 27, 2012 7:37 AM

    This whole issue is ridiculous.

    LA is an NFL market? I guess Goodell considers every city in North America an NFL market then.

    I dont particularly care though. Just buy the Dodgers and put them into one of your kids names or something, like you did the other teams.

  10. pcoisma says: Mar 27, 2012 7:40 AM

    I call B.S.
    So Kronke’s son will now own all Colorado teams and the LA Dodgers. Don’t piss on me and tell me it is raining. Thick as thieves these rich owners are. They will find an excuse why to make it work.

  11. sj39 says: Mar 27, 2012 7:49 AM

    deanvernonwormer, leave Brady out of this.

  12. jimiinpa says: Mar 27, 2012 7:53 AM

    indeed

  13. wawa33 says: Mar 27, 2012 8:04 AM

    Kroenke’s LA Dodgers will soon be joind by Kroenke’s Los Angeles Rams.

  14. faulkana says: Mar 27, 2012 8:06 AM

    What a nice problem to have.
    Owning too many professional sports teams.
    Poor fella…I hope they can get this all worked out so that he can be happy.

  15. couldntthinkofaname says: Mar 27, 2012 8:11 AM

    But Goodell also said Monday that Los Angeles is a “league market,” which could mean that even without a team in L.A. at the moment, the NFL believes the cross-ownership rules apply. (We have requested clarification from the league office.)

    _______________________________________

    Oh, I get it. It’s like the Cowboys and Redskins supposedly breaking the salary cap rules in a year where there wasn’t actually a salary cap.

  16. hwentworth says: Mar 27, 2012 8:25 AM

    Just a thought, perhaps a refresher on the oft-mentioned cross owning rule would help. Saying the word over and over doesn’t make me have to Google it any less.

  17. eballa1 says: Mar 27, 2012 8:36 AM

    The NFL once again making up rules as it goes

  18. northshorejag says: Mar 27, 2012 8:38 AM

    I guess if Rush owned the team, St Louis fans would have nothing to worry about.

  19. thetooloftools says: Mar 27, 2012 8:59 AM

    On April Fool’s Day The Dodgers get a new owner…. how fitting.

  20. jimbo75025 says: Mar 27, 2012 9:01 AM

    metalhead65 says:
    Mar 27, 2012 7:26 AM
    …….. how can the rams whine about a stadium not even 20 years old? I have been to games there and it is a wonderful building. no wonder minnesota is not in a rush to build a new one,the owner will be crying about that one in 10 years.

    ____________

    Agreed, eventually when cities agree to build stadiums for existing teams or to gain an expanion or relocating team they are going to have to get a 30 year lease. Building billion dollar football only stadiums for 20 years only is a losing proposition for any city. Same situation really as Atlanta where the Falcons are already grumbling about the Georgia Dome which was completed 21 years ago. Next thing you know Jerry Jones is going to start complaining that his “palace” is outdated when it was completed three years ago.

  21. nationalmediacansuckit says: Mar 27, 2012 9:09 AM

    It will be the Raiders or Rams. Raiders make more sense though since Oakland has had 87 blackouts since moving back there. Might as well move dead weight.

  22. Punk says: Mar 27, 2012 9:10 AM

    I’ve never understood why the NFL bothers with a rule they refuse or can’t enforce.

    And don’t give me that line about his wife owning the team or whatever… we all know better.

  23. vikingdoode says: Mar 27, 2012 9:29 AM

    St. Louis Jaguars mmmmm no there’s no jaguars in st. Louis! Cougars now cougars yeah they are all over the place. Most of them are in bars and dive looking for young dumb football playas

  24. shackdelrio says: Mar 27, 2012 9:41 AM

    “joetoronto says:
    Mar 27, 2012 7:20 AM
    It’s looking more and more like the Rams to L.A. and the Jags to St.Louis.”

    It’s looking more and more like joetoronto enjoys pulling things out of his rear end. Jags ain’t moving buddy.

  25. mizzouram says: Mar 27, 2012 9:45 AM

    MLB wants no part of this mess. They going to go with Cohen. He’s 3x richer than Stan, has more cash available, and has no other sports properties.

    All this was a leverage game used to scare St. Louisans and the CVC before negotiations on the dome renovations started.

  26. realitypolice says: Mar 27, 2012 9:48 AM

    pcoisma says:
    Mar 27, 2012 7:40 AM
    I call B.S.
    So Kronke’s son will now own all Colorado teams and the LA Dodgers. Don’t piss on me and tell me it is raining. Thick as thieves these rich owners are. They will find an excuse why to make it work.
    ==========================

    And why do you care?

    Honestly. Why in the world would you care how many teams someone owns?

    You’re darn right they will “make it work” and they should. The only story here is why this stupid rule exists in the first place.

    Who are they to tell a man how successful he is allowed to be and how large he can grow his business?

    When membership is so willing to allow a rule to circumvented so easily, it speaks less about them and more about the stupidity of the rule itself.

    Get rid of it.

  27. chrishighlevel says: Mar 27, 2012 9:56 AM

    No fans get jerked around like St. Louis football fans. If they leave, they leave. No amount of hand wringing and sky is falling will stop it. At least we will be giving LA the worst team in the league.
    2007
    3-13
    2008
    2-14
    2009
    1-15
    2010
    7-9
    2011
    2-14

    Why do we want them to stay?

  28. rooney24 says: Mar 27, 2012 10:08 AM

    It is crazy to me to think of one person owning four pro franchises. While I understand that the value goes up (not sure why), and they make a lot of money when they eventually sell the team, the owners always want everyone to believe that actually owning a team is a money losing enterprise. If that is the case, why is there seldom a shortage of potential owners when a team is up for sale? Are there just that many people with too much money and not enough toys to buy? I simply cannot fathom having that kind of money.

  29. pcoisma says: Mar 27, 2012 10:12 AM

    chrishighlevel says: Mar 27, 2012 9:56 AM

    Well let me inform you why oh why my friend. Go live in Omaha NE. with no pro teams. No Reason why Saint Louis should no be able to attract a NBA team with a new state off the art attraction. NBA is 82 games away and 41 at home(not including playoffs)during WINTER when the Cards are NOT playing. That is what the CVC should be aiming at. Rams want to be apart of that great. We can extend the sideline bleachers for you.

    No fans get jerked around like St. Louis football fans. If they leave, they leave. No amount of hand wringing and sky is falling will stop it. At least we will be giving LA the worst team in the league.
    2007
    3-13
    2008
    2-14
    2009
    1-15
    2010
    7-9
    2011
    2-14

    Why do we want them to stay?

  30. jonirocit says: Mar 27, 2012 10:12 AM

    If there is no team it shouldn’t be an issue !

  31. schmitty2 says: Mar 27, 2012 10:13 AM

    chrishighlevel says: Mar 27, 2012 9:56 AM
    No fans get jerked around like St. Louis football fans. If they leave, they leave. No amount of hand wringing and sky is falling will stop it. At least we will be giving LA the worst team in the league.
    2007
    3-13
    2008
    2-14
    2009
    1-15
    2010
    7-9
    2011
    2-14

    Why do we want them to stay?

    Wow buddy..did you forget about their Super Bowl win and narrow loss in Sb 2 years later?? That wasn’t too long ago. So they have had a bad run..how about the teams that NEVER win? Good fans support their teams in the good and the bad. You are quite obviously not one of them

  32. koufaxmitzvah says: Mar 27, 2012 11:02 AM

    Fitzmagic: Terrible person. Awful pundit. Stupid commentor.

    You’re right…. I do feel better.

  33. chrishighlevel says: Mar 27, 2012 11:13 AM

    Actually I’ve been a loyal fan since they arrived. I was in Atlanta for the win and New Orleans for the loss,but I’m so turned off by the turmoil about if they’re staying or going I’ve given them up. I hope that they turn it around, and I hope the CVC figures this out, but I’ve been through this song and dance before. I hope that I’m wrong, but for the love of god, don’t let some misguided sense of loyalty bind you to this business long enough for you to get kicked in the dick if they leave. I’m just putting on my cup.

  34. couldntthinkofaname says: Mar 27, 2012 11:15 AM

    fitzmagic1212 says:
    Mar 27, 2012 7:28 AM

    Anyone else hate L.A? I hope the team that goes there fails like they always have. Terrible fans.

    ________________

    Hey moron, the Rams were consistently in the top five in attendance the last several years they were in California. But don’t let facts screw up your argument.

  35. chrishighlevel says: Mar 27, 2012 11:16 AM

    Also, my old company was in Omaha. You have a team that plays all year round, my man. The Nebraska Cornhuskers. And they’re never going to leave.

  36. rajbais says: Mar 27, 2012 12:26 PM

    The multiple team ownership rule is probably the dumbest one for owners in the NFL!!!!

    They let idiots like Stephen Ross own the Dolphins when he was a major real estate mogul and an entrepreneurial phenomenon in other fields!!!

    But they will not let Stan Kroenke own teams in multiple leagues?????

    There is nothing wrong with him owning teams in different leagues!!!!! His non-NFL teams have no threat on the St. Louis Rams or the NFL itself!!!!!!

    This is the same league that will pay respect to Pete Rozelle as a commissioner of the NFL while owning the Los Angeles Rams!!!!!!

    There is a salary cap, revenue-sharing, and other ways to keep competitive balance!!!! Owning teams in different leagues will not put other NFL owners in a disadvantage!!!! Let Kroenke make money where he legally can and wants to make money!!!

  37. secoulte says: Mar 27, 2012 12:39 PM

    @rooney24

    He owns more than the Nuggets, Avalanche and Rams!

    He also owns the Colorado Rapids (MLS), Colorado Mammoth (NLL), and Arsenal (EPL).

    Arsenal is probably the most valuable of his current franchises…probably in the neighborhood of 1.2 billion.

  38. brianbosworthisstonecold says: Mar 27, 2012 10:18 PM

    I guess it’s alright for Paul Allen to own two different sports teams. It’s okay because they both suck.

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