Stan Kroenke sports teams: How billionaire built championship empire with Nuggets, Rams, Avalanche
Stan Kroenke sports teams: How billionaire built championship empire with Nuggets, Rams, Avalanche
Nuggets title adds to owner Stan Kroenke's championship empire

It wasn't long ago that Stan Kroenke's biggest claim to fame was being the man who made an enemy out of an entire city by relocating the Rams out of St. Louis.Kroenke recently had to pay St. Louis $571 million as part of an NFL settlement with the city, and he was the public punching bag for Rams fans who were furious that their team was moving to Los Angeles.While Kroenke is undoubtedly still despised by St. Louis-based fans, he now has a new claim to fame: A Super Bowl win, a Stanley Cup championship, and now an NBA championship.Kroenke's Nuggets were crowned 2023 NBA champions Monday night, giving the billionaire owner his third championship in a span of 16 months.MORE: How NBA title validates Nikola Jokic's place among all-time greatsHere's what you need to know about Kroenke's teams and the recent success he's been able to enjoy as an owner. Stan Kroenke sports teamsKroenke is the owner of Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, which owns the Nuggets, Rams, and Colorado Avalanche in addition to Arsenal F.C., Arsenal W.F.C, the MLS' Colorado Rapids, the NLL's Colorado Mammoth, and two esports teams. Kroenke serves as the principal owner of the Rams, though he transferred his stake in both the Avalanche and Nuggets over to his wife in 2015 due to NFL rules regarding owning professional teams in NFL markets. Still, as owner of Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, Kroenke oversees both franchises. Kroenke's son, Josh, currently serves as day-to-day president of both the Avalanche and Nuggets and represents the Nuggets at the NBA's Board of Governors meetings.The Rams, Nuggets, and Avalanche collectively experienced some tough times under Kroenke's ownership.The Rams didn't make the playoffs until their eighth season after Kroenke's purchase. The Nuggets never reached the NBA Finals during Carmelo Anthony's eight seasons with the team between 2003 and 2011. The Avalanche won one playoff series in a span of 10 seasons from 2009 through 2018 after winning the Stanley Cup at the start of his tenure.Lately, however, the results have been tough to argue. The Rams went all-in and won Super Bowl 56, giving Kroenke a euphoric moment after the vitriol that surrounded the move to Los Angeles. The Avalanche finally broke through and won the Stanley Cup Final four months later. In the interim, the Mammoth won the 2022 NLL title.Now, the Nuggets have won their first championship in franchise history, giving Kroenke three titles across the four major American professional sports leagues in less than two years.Kroenke's teams have also suddenly become models of stability. The head coaches of the Rams, Nuggets, and Avalanche have all been in place for at least seven seasons, while general managers Joe Sakic (Avalanche) and Les Snead (Rams) have both been in their respective positions for more than a decade.MORE: Can the Nuggets be an NBA dynasty?What does Stan Kroenke own?Kroenke owns teams in three of the four major American professional sports leagues, but his reach extends beyond those three teams and even beyond the United States. Here's a closer look at how Kroenke acquired each of his teams: Los Angeles RamsKroenke purchased a 30 percent stake in the Rams when they moved to St. Louis in 1995. He was part of the group that helped the franchise move to St. Louis, and he purchased the remainder of the team in 2010 after owner Georgia Frontiere died.The Rams suffered through several difficult years under Kroenke until a breakthrough season in 2017. Since moving to Los Angeles, the Rams have reached the playoffs in four of the last seven seasons and won Super Bowl 56. Right now, however, the franchise is in a state of disrepair compared to the Nuggets and Avalanche.Denver NuggetsKroenke purchased the Nuggets from Ascent Entertainment Group in 2000. His son, Josh, now runs day-to-day operations as president of the franchise. The Nuggets turned in 10 consecutive winning seasons from 2003-04 to 2012-13, but they became the face of playoff disappointment by winning a playoff series in only one of those seasons.Carmelo Anthony and Allen Iverson did help put the franchise firmly on the national radar, and Nikola Jokic has now taken them to new heights. The Nuggets aren't settling for relevancy anymore; instead, they're hunting championships.MORE: Why Nikola Jokic wears wedding ring on shoe during gamesColorado AvalancheJust as he did with the Nuggets, Kroenke purchased the Avalanche from Ascent Entertainment Group in 2000.The Avalanche have experienced extreme highs and lows under Kroenke, triumphing in the Stanley Cup Final in 2001 before winning just one playoff series in 10 years from 2009 to 2018.After finishing a dismal 22-56-4 in 2016-17, the trajectory of the Avalanche has been pointing up ever since. Colorado won the Presidents' Trophy in 2020-21 and secured the ultimate prize by winning the Stanley Cup Final again in 2022. Arsenal Holdings plcKroenke owns London-based soccer clubs Arsenal F.C. and Arsenal W.F.C. as owner of Arsenal Holdings plc. Kroenke first purchased shares in 2007 and became majority owner in 2011. In 2018, be bought all remaining shares to take full control. Arsenal F.C. has won the English FA Cup four times since Kroenke became majority owner, but the billionaire ruffled feathers in 2021 when the club was set to become part of the controversial European Super League. The league was shouted down before it could even begin, but Kroenke's role in the venture was widely criticized by fans. Colorado RapidsKroenke purchased the Colorado Rapids from Phil Anschutz in 2004. Success hasn't always followed the Rapids, who have posted a losing record in seven of their last 11 seasons, but they did win the MLS Cup in 2010. Colorado MammothThe Mammoth of the National Lacrosse League was purchased from Anschutz in 2004 as well, one year after the franchise was founded.The Mammoth have won two NLL titles, climbing to the top in both 2006 and 2022. Colorado was the league's runner-up this past season.MORE: Michael Jordan-esque playoff stats prove Jamal Murray is for realEsports TeamsKroenke has founded two esports teams: The Los Angeles Gladiators of the Overwatch League and the Los Angeles Guerrillas of the Call of Duty League. Altitude Sports & EntertainmentKroenke founded Altitude Sports & Entertainment in 2004 to serve as the primary network for Nuggets, Avalanche and Mammoth games. While the network is still operational, a contract dispute recently caused games to be blacked out for Comcast subscribers. Ball ArenaKroenke also owns Ball Arena, which is home to the Nuggets, Avalanche, and Mammoth. Named the Pepsi Center from its founding in 1999 until 2020, the arena was part of Kroenke's purchase of the Nuggets and Avalanche in 2000. Stan Kroenke net worthForbes estimates Kroenke's net worth at $12.9 billion, ranking him 139th in the world. He ranked 48th on the Forbes 400 list of wealthiest Americans in 2022.According to Forbes, Kroenke's net worth has skyrocketed over the past two years. After dipping from $10 billion in 2020 to $8.2 billion in 2021, largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Kroenke's value jumped to $10.7 billion in 2022 and now $12.9 billion in 2023.MORE: How Jamal Murray went from ACL tear to NBA championHow did Stan Kroenke make his money?Kroenke has been married to Walmart heiress Ann Walton for 49 years. Walton is the daughter of Walmart's co-founder and inherited much of his massive fortune.Kroenke founded a real estate development company in 1983 and later became the chairman of a development company. Between the two firms, he has been responsible for the creation of numerous shopping centers and apartment buildings. Marrying into the Walton family, which now owns the Denver Broncos, helped put Kroenke on a path to extreme success — but he comes from a humble background. Kroenke grew up in a sparsely populated town, and his father owned a lumber yard.Investing his money in several professional sports franchises has proven to be a massive success for Kroenke, and a Nuggets championship would be another milestone in his impressive career. 

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