SBD/March 21, 2012/Franchises

Would Rams' Kroenke Violate NFL Cross-Ownership Rule If He Purchases Dodgers?

NFL has not reviewed Kroenke’s potential ownership as related to cross-ownership rule
With the MLB owners set to vote in the next week on the five remaining bid groups for the Dodgers, the question of whether Rams Owner Stan Kroenke's potential purchase of the Dodgers would violate the NFL's cross-ownership rule still has not been answered. "The rule is that an NFL owner can own teams in the other major sports leagues (MLB, NBA, NHL) only in his/her own market or in non-NFL markets," NFL Senior VP/PR Greg Aiello wrote in an email. "Mr. Kroenke’s potential ownership of the Dodgers has not been reviewed as it relates to our cross-ownership rule. We are not going to speculate on how it might apply because 1) it remains a hypothetical situation; and 2) it has not been presented for review," Aiello continued. Also unclear is whether L.A., which has not had an NFL club since '95, is an NFL market and, therefore, subject to the cross-ownership rule. Asked whether L.A. was an NFL market, Aiello said, “I am not addressing this any further right now.” Attempts to reach Kroenke for comment were unsuccessful. Rams Exec VP/Football Operations & COO Kevin Demoff declined to comment for this story. A spokesperson for the Dodgers declined comment (Liz Mullen, SportsBusiness Journal). Meanwhile, in L.A., Bill Shaikin cites U.S. Bankruptcy Court documents as indicating that at least one party bidding on the Dodgers "has inquired about the possibility of selling naming rights to Dodger Stadium." Sources said that the investment bank brokering the sale "has included naming rights among what it calls the 'value creation opportunities'" for a buyer. It is uncertain whether the inquiries "came from bidders still in contention and whether the questions reflected standard due diligence or a sincere interest in selling the Dodger Stadium naming rights" (L.A. TIMES, 3/21).
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