How Did Stan Kroenke Become the Owner of the Rapids?

How Did Stan Kroenke Become the Owner of the Rapids?

Credit: Dom Le Roy. Pexels

How Did Stan Kroenke Become the Owner of the Rapids?

The Colorado Rapids is a renowned club known for its top-rated players and unique playing strategies. As a member of the Western Conference, the Rapids compete in MLS. The history of the Rapids is quite fascinating, with several awards and titles to its name.

But there has been a shift in ownership of the club. Previously owned by Anschutz Corporation but now by Kroenke Sports & Entertainment. So, how did this shift in ownership happen, and why are logical questions any sports fan will wonder?

With this ClutchBet guide on Colorado legal sports betting, you can get the latest information about your favorite sports team. But in this article, we will be breaking down the shift in ownership of the Rapids.

AEG Ownership of Rapids

The story of AEG is quite an interesting one. Founded in 1994, AEG is a subsidiary of Anschutz Corporation, a global company that branches into a bit of everything from sports to music and entertainment. AEG owns several establishments and was the co-founder and leading investor of Major League Soccer.

In 1996, AEG became the investor in Colorado Rapids, making it their first MLS franchise. Under the AEG management, Colorado Rapids made headways in the sporting industry, including bagging several titles. Unfortunately, AEG had to let the Rapids go.

Kroenke’s Sports Empire

Kroenke’s Sports & Entertainment is another holding company for several sports teams like AEG but owned by Enos Stanley Kroenke. The American billionaire businessman is associated with several sporting teams, including Arsenal F.C., Denver Nuggets, and others.

Aside from the sports empire, Kroenke is also invested in real estate. He is chairman of THF Realty, a real estate company specializing in developing suburban areas. Kroenke also acquired other ventures like Screaming Eagle, a winery, and a ranch with 848,631 acres, amongst other things.

AEG’s Decision to Sell

AEG's decision to sell the Colorado Rapids was a challenging one. As of 2002, the AEG held ownership stakes in nine pro teams in the US, including the Rapids. But in September 2003, AEG sold the Colorado Rapids to Kroenke Sports. Their decision to sell the Rapids was part of a larger strategy to consolidate its entertainment and sports properties.

Of the several factors that made AEG sell, one of the main reasons was finance. At the time, AEG was investing massively in other sports properties. Also, the overall downturn in the economy in the early 2000s put AEG under more financial pressure.

Another factor contributing to the decision was AEG's desire to streamline its portfolio. With AEG owning several sports franchises, selling the Rapids will allow them to focus their resources on core properties to strengthen their portfolio.

Kroenke Negotiating to Purchase the Rapids

Following AEG's decision to sell the Rapids, Kroenke saw it as an opportunity to add an MLS team to his portfolio. Kroenke purchasing the Rapids was part of a bigger plan to consolidate within MLS as wealthy investors saw the potential for success and growth in the league.

The negotiation to purchase Rapids by Kroenke was conducted in closed-door meetings. And details of the deal were not made public. However, it is known that Kroenke led the negotiations.


Ultimately, Rapids has seen ups and downs under Kroenke's management since 2003. However, under the AEG management, the Rapids won the MLS Cup Championship in 2010.

But it’s worth noting that the Rapids have hired new coaches and players, upgraded facilities, and qualified for the MLS Cup Playoffs several times under Kroenke's management. Although they last won another MLS Cup Championship in 2010, the team has shown enough commitment to its long-term success under Kroenke's leadership.

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