Kroenke Sports & Entertainment
Kroenke Sports & Entertainment (KSE) is an American sports and entertainment holding company based in Denver, Colorado. Originally known as Kroenke Sports Enterprises, it was started in 1999 by businessman Stan Kroenke to be the parent company of his sports holdings. Today the company has control over seven professional sports franchises, three stadiums with one under construction, one professional esports franchised team, four television channels, an internet TV channel, & 19 magazines which operate under the badge Outdoor Sportsman Group, four radio stations which operate under the badge KSE Radio Ventures, LLC, and websites.
In 1999 Kroenke bought a stake in the National Football League's St. Louis Rams after their relocation to Missouri in 1995. 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 teams from Charlie Lyons' Ascent Entertainment Group. In 2002, he partnered with Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen and former Bronco quarterback John Elway to become part-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. From 2002 to 2006, Kroenke owned the Grand Prix of Denver.
In 2010, Kroenke exercised his right of first refusal to buy the remaining interest in the Rams from the estate of late owner Georgia Frontiere. On August 25, 2010, he became full owner of the Rams by unanimous consent of the NFL. To gain approval from NFL owners, Kroenke agreed to turn over control of the Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche to his son, Josh, by the end of 2010, and he had to give up his majority stake in both teams in December 2014. The NFL does not allow its owners to hold majority control of major league teams in other NFL markets. On October 7, 2015, the NFL approved transfer of his ownership stake of the Avalanche and Nuggets to his wife, Ann Walton Kroenke.
Kroenke is the largest shareholder of Premier League association football club, Arsenal Football Club (Arsenal). Arsenal already had a technical link-up with Kroenke's Colorado Rapids when in April 2007 Granada Ventures, a subsidiary of ITV plc, had sold its 9.9% stake in Arsenal Holdings plc to Kroenke's KSE UK inc. Kroenke went on to buy further shares in the club, taking his total stake up to 12.19%. The club's board initially expressed skepticism that a bid would be in its best interests, but gradually warmed to him as part of counteracting Alisher Usmanov's rival bid for the club.
By June 2008 the board had prepared to let Kroenke take over the club, and on September 19, 2008, it was officially announced that Kroenke had joined the Arsenal board of directors. Kroenke had a beneficial interest in, and controlled voting rights, over 18,594 shares, representing 29.9% of the issued shares. Thus, he was nearing the maximum 29.99% threshold, beyond which he would be forced to make an offer for all remaining shares.
On April 10, 2011, it was reported that Kroenke was in advanced talks to complete the takeover of Arsenal. The following day, it was announced that he increased his shareholding in Arsenal to 62.89% by purchasing the stakes of Danny Fiszman and Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith, and agreed to make an offer for the rest of the club at £11,750 per share, valuing the club at £731M. Stan Kroenke now owns the entire of Arsenal Football Club after buying the rest from Alisher Usmanov, but still has yet to invest a penny directly into the club, rather using a 'self sustaining' method, leading to Arsenal falling behind competitors who have much outspent Arsenal due to investment from their respective owners.
In late 2017, the company developed an esports team franchise in the newly founded Overwatch League, named the Los Angeles Gladiators, that began their inaugural season later that year on December 6.
In August 2019, Activision Blizzard Esports Leagues announced that the company had bought a franchise slot in the upcoming franchised Call of Duty league. Like the company's Overwatch League franchise, the franchise will be based in Los Angeles.
Kroenke Sports & Entertainment owns Pepsi Center in Downtown Denver, home of the Nuggets and Avalanche, and co-owns Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, home of the Rapids. Both venues were built by his development company. In 2002 Kroenke bought the historic Paramount Theatre in Denver. Kroenke also established TicketHorse, a ticket company that provides in-house sales. Operations of 1stBank Center in Broomfield, Colorado were taken over by Peak Entertainment—a joint venture between KSE and AEG Live Rocky Mountain, in June 2009, for 28 years.
As part of relocating the Rams back to Los Angeles, Kroenke is currently building a new billion dollar NFL stadium in Inglewood, California called SoFi Stadium. The stadium is a component of the Hollywood Park, a mixed-use commercial and residential development project on the site of the former Hollywood Park Racetrack. On January 5, 2015, it was announced that Kroenke, the owner of the then St. Louis Rams had partnered with Stockbridge Capital Group (owners of the Hollywood Park Land Company), to build an NFL stadium and complex on the existing Hollywood Park development and on a parcel of land owned by Kroenke. The stadium is expected to open in 2020 and will be the home to the Rams and the Los Angeles Chargers.
Television, print and radio
In 2004, Kroenke launched his own competitor to FSN Rocky Mountain (now known as AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain), Altitude, a new regional sports network which became the official broadcaster for both of Kroenke's teams on launch. On January 10, 2011, World Fishing Network announced that it had sold a 50% stake in its U.S. operations to KSE under the Altitude Sports and Entertainment brand. Also, in 2011, Altitude Sports and Entertainment purchased a 19.9% interest in the Canadian channel through its division Altitude WFN ULC. Altitude would later purchase the remaining 50% interest in the channel it did not already own. In 2013, Outdoor Channel was acquired by KSE. As part of the acquisition of Outdoor Channel's parent company by KSE it also acquired MyOutdoorTV.com, Cablecam and Skycam which Outdoor Channel Holdings Inc. acquired in 2011 and 2009 respectively.
In 2014, KSE acquired InterMedia Outdoor Holdings from InterMedia Partners which included Sportsman Channel, 15 market leading outdoor magazines, and 17 top websites, as well as television production operations. The company was later renamed Outdoor Sportsman Group.
On October 12, 2015, Kroenke Sports Enterprises, announced they would acquire Wilks Broadcasting's Denver properties, including KXKL-FM, Country KWOF, and Adult Top 40 KIMN. Once the sale was approved by the FCC, KSE was expected to flip one of the three outlets to Sports, which would see the Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche, and Colorado Rapids moving from their then radio home in Denver, which was KKFN. The transaction was consummated on December 31, 2015, at a purchase price of $54 million.
On December 17, 2015, Entercom announced it would sell KRWZ to KSE Radio Ventures (a division of Kroenke Sports & Entertainment), who would add the station to its three recently acquired FM properties in the Denver market. KSE also announced that KRWZ would flip to a new format when the sale closes, as Entercom moved the Oldies format to KEZW on December 27. On the same day, KRWZ began stunting with mostly adult standards music, as well as redirecting listeners to KEZW. Upon the change of ownership, KRWZ would adopt the new KKSE call letters. Furthermore, KSE announced that the station would return to sports talk and become "Altitude Sports 950" (named after KSE's Altitude cable channel). This was followed by the flipping of country formatted KWOF to sports KKSE-FM.
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-  Archived March 21, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
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- "Recommended Offer by KSE For Arsenal Holdings | News Archive | News". Arsenal.com. May 6, 2011. Retrieved January 12, 2016.
- "Arsenal: Shareholder Alisher Usmanov says he accepts rival Stan Kroenke's bid for club". August 7, 2018. Retrieved August 17, 2019.
- Benge, James (May 30, 2019). "Stan Kroenke and the demands that fans are calling for after Chelsea blow". footballlondon. Retrieved August 17, 2019.
- "Stan Kroenke & Josh Kroenke Introduce Name of New Los Angeles Overwatch League™ Franchise, the Gladiators, with Roaring Lion Logo and Purple/White Team Colors" (PDF). LA Gladiators. November 2, 2017. Retrieved November 8, 2017.
- "THE OVERWATCH LEAGUE™ WELCOMES LONDON, SECOND LOS ANGELES TEAM". Overwatch League. August 10, 2017. Retrieved November 8, 2017.
- Stern, Adam (August 20, 2019). "Activision Blizzard Sells Two More Franchise Slots For Call Of Duty League". The Esports Observer.
- "Kroenke Sports buys Paramount Theatre - Denver Business Journal". Denver Business Journal. July 16, 2002. Retrieved November 3, 2018.
- "Anschutz-Kroenke venture picked to run Broomfield Event Center". Denver Business Journal. June 17, 2009. Retrieved January 28, 2014.
- "Hollywood Park Land Company announces plan to build world-class sports complex in Inglewood" (Press release). Stockbridge Real Estate. January 5, 2015. Retrieved June 10, 2015.
- Farmer, Sam; Vincent, Roger (January 5, 2015). "Owner of St. Louis Rams plans to build NFL stadium in Inglewood". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 10, 2015.
- "Altitude Sports Hooks Partnership In World Fishing Network] Multichannel News, 2011-01-10]". Retrieved November 3, 2018.
- CRTC ownership chart CRTC
- "INDUSTRY: Outdoor Channel sale to Kroenke closes". Retrieved November 3, 2018.
- LLC, Kroenke Sports & Entertainment. "Kroenke Sports & Entertainment Acquires InterMedia Outdoors Holdings, including Sportsman Channel". www.prnewswire.com. Retrieved November 3, 2018.
- "Kroenke Sports Acquires Wilks' Denver Stations" from Radio Insight (October 12, 2015)
- "KSE Media Ventures Acquires KRWZ Denver From Entercom" from Radio Insight (December 17, 2015)