April 13 2010, 10:53 AM
It's long been speculated that Denver-based sports tycoon Stan Kroenke has been trying to purchase European soccer juggernaut Arsenal for three-quarters of a billion dollars. That sounds like a lot of money---and it is---but it's within reach for Kroenke. Still, part of the deal hinged on Kroenke selling his 40 percent stake in the St. Louis Rams football team. That's all been flipped on its head now, with Kroenke announcing he's not only going to keep his 40 percent; he'll attempt to buy the remainder of the Rams team, as well, making him the sole owner. The Guardian newspaper points out that the sports world expected to hear different news from Kroenke: the sale of his 40 percent stake. And the purchase may not be easy, considering the NFL has rules prohibiting team owners from owning other sports teams in American markets. Kroenke owns the Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche, Colorado Rapids, and the Pepsi Center, so the rest of the NFL owners would have to vote to approve Kroenke's full ownership of the Rams (via The Associated Press). Kroenke's decision is strange in at least two respects. First, Illinois businessman Shahid Khan has been on track to purchase the Rams' majority ownership, and he's been expecting Kroenke to sell him his shares. The Riverfront Times, a St. Louis alternative newsweekly, has a solution: A best-mustache contest between Kroenke and Kahn. And what about the Arsenal purchase? Kroenke has been maneuvering for months to buy the team, inching closer and closer to an ownership stake in the soccer team, which would require him to buy the whole team under British law. No word on whether Kroenke is still deciding what to do about the soccer team, but maybe he has enough money to buy it all.