MLS executives vote Stan Kroenke, KSE, worst owner in the league
Feb 24, 2023, 12:25 PM | Updated: 12:28 pm
The owner of a recent Super Bowl winner, Stanley Cup winner and the current second-best team in basketball, is not getting much love for his running of Major League Soccer’s Colorado Rapids.
Stan Kroenke’s Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, owner of the local soccer club was voted the worst ownership situation in MLS in an anonymous poll of 20 league executives conducted by The Athletic an released on Thursday.
Kroenke got six votes for the worst owner in the league, followed by three for Miami’s Jorge Mas and three for San Jose’s John Fisher.
The article comments this about KSE:
It seems the same names continue to pop up here, and it’s hard to envision a world in which Kroenke isn’t a perpetual contender for this honor. The longtime Colorado Rapids owner certainly doesn’t meddle with the operations of his club, but that seems to be due more to neglect than out of any deference to the folks that he’s hired. He certainly isn’t giving the Rapids much money to work with. Unlike the Kroenke-owned LA Rams of the NFL and Arsenal of the Premier League, Colorado is one of the most chronically underfunded teams in the league.
“That they’re a small-market team while SoFi Stadium sits 1,000 miles to the southwest is a f—ing abomination,” said one executive.
Meanwhile, the in the vote for best owner Colorado billionaire and LA Galaxy owner Philip Anschutz tied for second behind Atlanta’s Arthur Blank. Anschutz brought the Rapids into MLS in the league’s 1996 inaugural season, owning the club until 2003 when he sold it to KSE.
Correctly stated Kroenke rarely jaunts to Commerce City only making three known appearances at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park since 2015.
The good news for Rapids fans is the group of polled executives voted Robin Fraser the most underrated coach in the league while team executive Padraig Smith received votes for best league executive and his offseason got noted as one of the better winters in MLS. Hope for the Rapids to return to the playoffs after a down season in 2022, following a stellar 2021 regular season.
Complaints about KSE are not limited to the Rapids, with many in Denver critical of Stan and Josh Kroenke’s run of the Avalanche, Nuggets and Mammoth despite the success of each team and a more flexible pocket recently. The comments go down to details like practice facilities, which are planned to be redone, KSE has built a reputation for sub-par quality. Though some of these thoughts have disappeared behind all the winning. The chief concern among fans continues to be a carrier dispute between KSE-owned Regional Sports Network Altitude TV and cable giant Comcast. The two monopoly-like companies have been going at it for a half-decade as RSNs have eroded across America amidst the streaming wars, leaving Kroenke’s teams off television for many for years. This won’t be an issue for the Rapids in the coming season, as MLS has jumped fully in on going to Apple TV, broadcasting all the league’s games on the streaming service.