ROUND UP

Avs and Nuggets just got a new boss who knows football and lives in L.A.

Mar 7, 2024, 1:38 PM | Updated: 4:10 pm

Kroenke Sports and Entertainment made a big move on Thursday, naming Los Angeles Rams president Kevin Demoff as the president of team and media operations for the company as a whole. This means Demoff is now in charge of not only the Rams but the Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche, Colorado Rapids, Colorado Mammoth, Altitude Sports, KSE Radio properties and Outdoor Sportsman Group. Demoff is believed to be the first executive in sports to be the boss of teams in four separate leagues at the same time.

KSE has also given Mike Neary the title of executive vice president of business operations and development.

“When my father established KSE, it was with the vision of creating a global sports and entertainment organization which has championship standards across the board,” said KSE Vice Chairman Josh Kroenke in a news release. “As my father and I take KSE into this next chapter, we are thrilled to add to our executive team Mike and Kevin, two accomplished and passionate leaders both with a long history as part of the KSE family, to help us evolve our organization and better connect our properties not only here in Denver but across the world. Between transformative developments around our venues, the future of fan engagement through dynamic media offerings, and winning more championships, the future of KSE is bright and Kevin and Mike will help us set the standard to deliver for our community and our fans.”

The changes come a few weeks after Altitude CEO and high-ranking KSE official Matt Hutchings stepped down. KSE said it was on his own volition, though the half-decade-long carrier dispute he was fighting on behalf of Altitude TV was left unresolved. Now there’s a new boss for the network and more importantly perhaps a new boss for Denver’s teams. It’s odd timing given the success of each over the past few seasons with the Avs winning a Cup in 2022 and Nuggets winning a title in 2023.

Longtime Nuggets boss Tim Connelly left town in the summer of 2022 after Minnesota lured him away with the possibility of equity in his presidential role. This left the Nuggets with Calvin Booth running the team without a true president, though the team’s Twitter account at one point shared Booth was taking on the role. That post was deleted and Booth has remained just the general manager. Over the same summer, across Ball Arena, Avs legend Joe Sakic ascended to a presidential role.

“Initially, there’s not going to be hardly any change,” Kroenke said in a news conference. “We’re just going to be including Kevin in certain conversations. The reason that we’re able to think about this at present is because of the strength of all the people we have in our organizations.”

The news however does seem to imply that both Booth and Sakic have a new boss and it’s a football executive based in Los Angeles, though KSE says Demoff will split time between California and Colorado. Kroenke says Booth will remain the top man in the Nuggets organization and they won’t look to hire a president though he alluded to the face that Booth could earn that title.

“I am honored and humbled to take on this role with KSE and I am grateful to Stan and Josh for this opportunity,” said Demoff in a statement. “I am excited to work with so many talented teammates who have helped KSE become the most influential sports and entertainment company in the world. With the goal of sustaining winning cultures and organizations that transcend the field, court, or ice, we will collaboratively build a best-in-class experience for our fans in Denver, Los Angeles, and around the globe.”

Demoff was key in the controversial relocation of the Rams from St. Louis to Los Angeles. Demoff was the guy who said “there is no secret plan” to move the team to L.A. while at the same time meeting with NFL owners telling them that the team was headed to Southern California. The L.A. Times wrote in 2022 that Demoff is one of the most hated men in St. Louis. After the move, Demoff led the Rams to two Super Bowl appearances including one championship and has helped the franchise build one of the most advanced sporting complexes in the world at SoFi Stadium. While working with Les Snead and Sean McVay on football, Demoff also has been part of KSE’s team to bring the FIFA World Cup 26, Super Bowl LXI in 2027, and the 2028 Olympics to Los Angeles. Famously the just-built stadium will have to undergo some changes to actually fit the soccer tournament as it seems ownership may have overlooked the specifications needed for high-level soccer when building SoFi. And in Denver, FIFA picked over the Mile High City for others across the nation as rumors piled in that the city’s bid was weak. Perhaps it would’ve been stronger with more support from the owners of Colorado’s MLS team.

The other big Mile High City tie-in here is Neary, who KSE says will be based in Denver full-time. He is set to oversee operations of various KSE companies and venues, notably Ball Arena, DICK’S Sporting Goods Park and the Paramount Theatre.

KSE says, “With game-changing developments planned around these venues, Neary will help lead KSE’s real estate development initiatives to ensure streamlined operations and to establish a cohesive identity as these exciting mixed-use neighborhoods become a part of the Denver community. In addition, Neary will help set the strategy for KSE’s current operations and future growth by leading key functions, such as Human Resources, Information Technology, Risk Management, and others.”

Neary will likely play a big role in the two massive redevelopment projects around Ball Arena. Neary, like Demoff, will report straight to Josh Kroenke.

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Avs and Nuggets just got a new boss who knows football and lives in L.A.