So today I am reading how our esteemed owner is considering a bid for the Dodgers. Right then I had to ask myself, how amazing it must be to wield millions of dollars at will and collect in its entirety, sports entertainment. No matter what teams have been passed on to what family members, make no mistake, Stan's hands are still all over it. Sounds kinda sinister huh? I kinda like it too.
Soccer, Hockey, Basketball, Football, but no baseball, yet? Yeah yet.
What exactly are we dealing with here St. Louis Rams fans? I mean did you sleep on this man as much as I did? He was so silent, so smooth, so sly, that I never knew until this year that Stan is rolling bigger than anyone on the NFL block?! I can admit it. I am not ashamed, I simply was ignorant, but no more. That is when a lot of things come together and fit with what he has always been about.
From what I have read, Stan is alumni of Mizzou. He got both Bachelors and Masters from there. This shows a commitment to quality. Although I was able to acquire a larger scholarship from Southwest Missouri State during my college years (yeah I am always going to call the school that name dammit!) I did have the chance to spend time there before my senior year and the university is nothing short of amazing to me.
He founded the Kroenke Group in 1983. So when digging through wikipedia, I found that he is the man behind THF?! For anyone that's not from St. Louis, this is one of the largest real estate development firms in the city. Why? It is also the company that has constructed numerous shopping centers, apartment buildings and developed many of the plazas near Walmarts! Holy !@#@#$
Yet, he started THF Realty back in 1991. So when reading angry fan posts about what he is not or has not been, do yourself a favor, research for yourself. 1991 says to me that he has paid dues in St. Louis and has been a part of St. Louis for many years. That says to me that he has helped create jobs in St. Louis and he has been a part of bringing business to St. Louis.
Then, on top of all of that, he was the one who orchestrated bringing the NFL back to St. Louis after the Bidwells ripped out our hearts, threw it on the ground and spit on it while pouring on the lighter fluid with a match in tow. He saw potential in this market, but there is only so much you can do when you own 40% of anything. Now he is "da man", the "Don Da da", "Head Honcho" 100%. Now the success or failure of this team is completely at his feet. Yet I am starting to see what we are dealing with here, follow me Rams fans..
So I'm reading in wikipedia that in 2000, he became full owner of both the National Basketball Association's Denver Nuggets and the National Hockey League's Colorado Avalanche, purchasing the team from Charlie Lyons' Ascent Entertainment Group. In 2002, he partnered with American football legend John Elway and Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen to become owner of the Arena Football League's Colorado Crush. He continued to grow his sports empire in 2004, when he purchased the National Lacrosse League's Colorado Mammoth and Major League Soccer's Colorado Rapids from Phil Anschutz.
All the while, real estate is his bread and butter, but Lacrosse?!! I mean really, Lacrosse?! Stan is somewhere saying, "Don't hate!"
Look at the paragraph above and tell me you don't see what I see?
Rams fans, our team is owned and controlled by a complete and total sports nut! He works in real estate, but he loves sports. All sports and if he can make some money while owning a particular team of a sport, he will do it. Period.
The more I think of this, the more I can imagine how he is where ever he may be watching his teams play with their ups and downs. Mulling over how to make things better. In the end he is a fan of all sports and that means he will want to see the best product on the field he can. He knows this is all up to him and there is no one else that can take the blame but him for any failures with the Rams. This is no new thing for him though as he has been doing all of that for a long time with many different teams.
Flat out, I would much rather have an owner who is a fan than one who only sees the team as a revenue producer. An owner who is a fan will be able to relate to the fans of his team.
Let's not get this thing twisted though, he is most definitely in the game and all other games to make money. See, when you look at the teams, you must look at what all is encompassed with bringing a sporting event to fruition on game day. I can only think of a smidgen but consider the preparation of the field, the men and women that prepare the venue seating areas, food vendors, clean up crew, security, parking, ticket collection, ticket pick up, ticket purchase, ushers, liquor, beer, merchandise, TV spot, teams, coaches, medical crew, few plain clothes cops, lights, refs, before game entertainment, half time entertainment, data feed into the various screens around the stadium of what is going on in the league that day, balls (LOL, that term right there in that part of the sentence covers so much) and a ton of other crap that I can't even fathom right now. When looking at it in its entirety, there are many different ways that money is made that day and he is all over it.
He still considers Columbia his place of residence, THF is still here in the STL, but his family just so happens to also own teams in other places besides St. Louis. He has sought them out, the right opportunity and the right time.
Dodgers might be the right time. I don't get jittery at all when I see our owner looking into buying them. I now understand a little bit about the man who owns our team. He is a sports buff outta this world and if he does get the dodgers, St. Louis may dodge a bullet. Why? It's obvious that he wants into the LA market. Who doesn't? Thing is, that market is beyond finicky and if the last NFL franchise didn't make it there before, what amazing change has occured in LA that an NFL team will all of a sudden thrive? Too many questions for me in regards to bringing a brand new team into a volatile market and I don't have half the headaches a billionaire has. I don't even have the same headaches a $50k man has, but that's off subject.
Yet, if I had the chance to buy into that market, a team with a ready made fan base that only needs a jump start in marketing, management and personnel? Then yeah I might go for that hardcore. So if I think like that with my sub $50k mind, I know the wielder of millions sees even bigger details and potentials.
Bottom line is its all business. Its all very big business and beyond many of our comprehensions.
I mean I don't know about you, but I ain't got $3.2 billion sitting in my back pocket. I got a ton a lint and an old fabric sheet. I can only dream that if I loved sports as much as Mr. Kronke obviously does and had the opportunities that he has then why not? Why not own a team from every professional sports franchise? I would do it in a heart beat, but there are contracts, obligations, rewards and consequences that come along with owning sports franchises. So that fact alone makes all of this strictly business.