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Kroenke rapidly takes Colorado Raspids (MLS)


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Kroenke rapidly takes Colorado.

By Chris Bergin.

Denver billionaire E. Stanley Kroenke has become the new owner of the Colorado Rapids, with an announcement to confirm the transaction set for two weeks time.

The owner of the NHL Colorado Avalanche, the NBA Denver Nuggets has - according to multiple sources - completed the deal to take the club, which sees a transition from their current AEG ownership to Kroenke's organisation.

In what is the first new investor-operator for MLS since the 1998 expansion round, Kroenke's control will also see movement towards the continued evaluation process of moving the Rapids into a purpose built stadium, possibly to be constructed on land next to the Pepsi Centre, which he owns.

MLS commissioner Don Garber stated at the weekend that he expects to announce two new investors this season, as the League builds up for expansion. However, Garber noted the two new investors he referred to are for existing teams.

With Kroenke now on board, the second investor is understood to be in talks with San Jose, which is also under current control of AEG.

Kroenke's financial clout is also aided by the fact that he is married into the powerful Walton family, the founders of the major retail group of the same name.

With the MLS expansion decision - which is certain to be a green light - due before the end of the season, along with new stadium deals and new investors, the 2003 campaign is going to prove to be a defining point for MLS as the top flight moves up a gear.

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