Committee recommends sale of Rams to Kroenke

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

ST. LOUIS -- The NFL's finance committee has unanimously recommended approval of Missouri billionaire Stan Kroenke's bid to take full control of the St. Louis Rams.

League spokesman Greg Aiello said Tuesday that commissioner Roger Goodell has notified teams of the committee's finding. NFL owners will vote on the sale today in Atlanta, a major topic at a meeting that will also address a proposed 18-game season and plans for the opening week of the season.

Kroenke, a 63-year-old businessman from Columbia, Mo., already owns 40 percent of the Rams. He is attempting to purchase the 60 percent stake currently held by Chip Rosenbloom and sister Lucia Rodriguez.

The price widely has been reported at $750 million for a franchise that has a 6-42 record the last three seasons, a sad stumble from its Super Bowl days when the team was coined the "Greatest Show on Turf."

Kroenke has challenged the NFL's rule against cross ownership. If approved, he would hold at least a majority stake in five professional sports franchises.

In June, Kroenke said he planned to keep ownership of the NBA's Denver Nuggets and NHL's Colorado Avalanche in the family if he gains full control of the Rams. Kroenke also owns 29.9 percent of English Premier League soccer club Arsenal, as well as Major League Soccer's Colorado Rapids.

Earlier this year, Kroenke exercised matching rights and trumped a bid by Urbana, Ill., businessman Shahid Khan to purchase the 60 percent share of the Rams. Kroenke reportedly wants to purchase the team in two installments, which would leave current ownership with a large portion of the team for the time being.

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