Stan Kroenke, owner of the Denver Nuggets, the Colorado Avalanche (for another two years, at any rate -- he has to divest himself of the team soon to comply with NFL rules), Arsenal and the St. Louis Rams, is one of those three surviving bidders.
The other two bidders are a group fronted by Magic Johnson with the financial backing of a Chicago investment firm, and the billionaire tag-team partnership of Steven A. Cohen and Patrick Soon-Shiong. Mr. Soon-Shiong, incidentally, purchased Magic Johnson's financial stake in the Los Angeles Lakers a few years back.Various Los Angeles
observers believe the Cohen/Soon-Shiong partnership
has the inside track because Soon-Shiong is a hometown hero with deep, deep pockets -- something MLB greatly admires in its owners. It's believed that if this partnership wins, a guy named Tony La Russa will become head of baseball operations for the team.
Of course, if Stan Kroenke pulls out a win here, things become very interesting (read: "tense") for fans of the Rams. Those NFL cross ownership rules would make problems for Kroenke's continued ownership of the team. And I don't know that you can rule out Stan, even if he's being touted as a longshot. At one point, it seemed certain that Shahid Khan was going to own the Rams, and then Kroenke appeared with an offer. Los Angeles may experience their own moment of Stan surprise.
Major League Baseball's owners are expected to hold a phone-in vote tomorrow to determine which of the three remaining suitors for the Los Angeles Dodgers will earn the right to fork over an estimated $1.5 billion for the team, and the right to join the exclusive owners' club. Owners get snazzy blazers and total consciousness, so the price is almost worth it.