One championship in a single year is a nice feat for any sports team owner. Two in the same calendar year would be a massive accomplishment. But three? That’s unheard of.
At least, it was until Stan Kroenke’s teams pulled it off.
Incredibly, teams owned by Kroenke Sports & Entertainment won three championships already in 2022, all in a span of four and a half months. It’s one of the most remarkable accomplishments by a team owner, as he became the first in professional sports history to win an NFL and NHL title in the same year.
It all started with the Los Angeles Rams in February. One year after going all-in by trading for Matthew Stafford, the Rams stood atop the NFL world as Super Bowl LVI champions. They went 12-5 in the regular season before winning four straight postseason games against the Cardinals, the defending champion Buccaneers, the 49ers and the Bengals.
It was just what the doctor ordered after Los Angeles acquired Stafford, moving on from the Jared Goff era and giving Sean McVay a proven veteran at quarterback. That plan couldn’t have worked out better and now with Stafford under center, the Rams are equipped to defend their Super Bowl title next season.
That was Kroenke’s first championship of the year.
Next came the Colorado Mammoth, winners of the NLL Championship in June. It was the franchise’s second title, also winning it in 2006.
The Mammoth snuck into the playoffs as one of the final seeds after going 10-8 in the regular season, earning the third seed in the West. They took down the Roughnecks in the quarterfinals before beating the top-seeded Seals two games to one in the three-game series, winning the clincher, 15-13.
In the NLL Finals, the Mammoth fell behind 1-0 in the best-of-3 series, but they rallied and won the next two games to take home the cup. They narrowly beat the Bandits in Game 3 by a score of 10-8.
“This is why we play lacrosse, we play for championships,”Mammoth captain Robert Hope said after the game. “It’s been a long time building. There’s a lot of emotions right now but we’re super happy, super pumped for this.”
The icing on the cake for Kroenke was the Colorado Avalanche, who took down the reigning champions, the Tampa Bay Lightning, in the Stanley Cup Final late last month. The Avalanche beat the Lightning in the Best of 7 series, winning Game 6 by a final score of 2-1 behind stellar play from Nathan MacKinnon, the star of this resurgent team.
The Avs were great all season, finishing as the top team in the West with 119 points – and a record of 56-19-7. They swept two of their first three series over the Predators and Oilers before dethroning the Lightning in the finals.
So exactly 135 days after hoisting the Lombardi Trophy at the stadium he had built in Inglewood, Calif., Kroenke was celebrating his third championship of the year with the Avalanche. It’s something he probably dreamed would be possible, but no one truly expects to win three titles in less than five months.
In total, Kroenke Sports & Entertainment has celebrated seven championships after its teams won three in 2022. Arsenal and the Denver Nuggets, both of which are owned by Kroenke, are still searching for their first championships in the Premier League and NBA, respectively, but the Rams, Rapids, Avalanche and Mammoth have all delivered for the billionaire owner.
He’s held a stake in all three of the Rams, Avalanche and Mammoth for at least 20 years, too.
He bought a stake in the then-St. Louis Rams back in 1995 before becoming full owner in 2010. In 2000, he purchased the Avalanche (and Nuggets) from Charlie Lyons for a reported $450 million. Two years later, in 2002, he bought the Mammoth.
There have been some tough times for all three franchises since Kroenke took them over. Of course, the Rams won one Super Bowl and reached another in 1999 and 2001 while Kroenke was a part-owner, but from 2005-2016, they never made the playoffs and didn’t have a single season with a winning record. That was until Sean McVay was hired in 2017, which changed everything.
Since then, they’ve won another Super Bowl and lost in another, making the playoffs in four of McVay’s five seasons. Kroenke trusted that the 30-year-old coach would get the job done in Los Angeles, and he’s more than delivered.
The Avalanche won the Stanley Cup in the 2000-01 season and reached the conference finals the year after, but they never made it back to the Western Conference Finals again until this past year. And from 2010-2016, they only made the playoffs once in a span of seven years. They were even the worst team in hockey in 2016, winning just 22 games.
The Mammoth have been steady since Kroenke’s purchase, only failing to reach the playoffs once (2010) and winning two championships. In 19 seasons, they’ve gone 167-148, and even though they only won the division three times, they have two titles to show for it.
Kroenke’s 2022 championship count will end at three, but both the Nuggets and Arsenal are positioned nicely for their upcoming seasons in the 2022-23 campaigns.
The Nuggets have the 10th-best odds to win the title next year, according to PointsBet, and have two-time MVP Nikola Jokic leading the way. Arsenal have the sixth-best odds to win the Premier League in 2022-23, which would be their first title since Kroenke became the team’s owner.
It's also possible the Rams, Avalanche or Mammoth will repeat as champions next season, too. So, Kroenke may just have to make some more room in his trophy case.