Kroenke aims to keep Avs, Nuggets in family if he takes over Rams

DENVER -- Stan Kroenke said Tuesday that he plans to keep ownership of the NHL's Colorado Avalanche and NBA's Denver Nuggets in his family if he gains full control of the NFL's St. Louis Rams.

The Missouri billionaire owns 40 percent of the Rams and is trying to acquire the rest, but NFL rules prohibit owners from also owning teams in the NBA, NHL or Major League Baseball.

"My family looks forward to owning the Rams, Nuggets and Avalanche for years to come while being compliant with all stipulations set by the NFL," Kroenke said in a written statement. "Our family remains committed to fans in St. Louis and Denver."

The statement, first reported in The Denver Post on Tuesday, said "family continuity remains a priority."

The Post reported that Kroenke plans to transfer some or all of the Nuggets to his 30-year-old son Josh, the Nuggets' vice president of team development.

A statement given to The Associated Press by Kroenke Sports Enterprises didn't mention that plan, and Kroenke officials didn't immediately respond to e-mails requesting clarification.

The statement didn't say how Kroenke would handle his ownership of the Avalanche or his 29.9 percent share of Arsenal, an English soccer power in the Premier League.

The NFL said its finance committee is still reviewing Kroenke's proposal, but league spokesman Brian McCarthy said he couldn't confirm Kroenke's plans.

An NHL spokesman had no immediate comment, and an NBA spokeswoman didn't immediately return messages from The AP.

NBA Commissioner David Stern told The Post that Kroenke hasn't formally notified the league of any plans to transfer the Nuggets to his son. A transfer would have to be approved by the NBA board of governors.

Stern called the Kroenkes a "very smart business and basketball family."

Chip Rosenbloom and Lucia Rodriguez currently own the 60 percent share of the Rams. They reached an agreement in February to sell to Illinois businessman Shahid Khan for an estimated $750 million. In April, Kroenke exercised his right to match the offer.

The NFL has worked around its cross-ownership rules in the past. In 1994, Wayne Huizenga bought the Miami Dolphins when he already owned baseball's Florida Marlins and the NHL's Florida Panthers.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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