Kroenke Sports and Entertainment (KSE) owns the Denver Nuggets among several sports holdings.
KSE and CEO Stan Kroenke own, among other franchises, the Nuggets, Avalanche, Rapids, Mammoth, the Los Angeles Rams, the Pepsi Center and Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. He also owns the Arsenal Football Club. Quite the stable for a man who loves sports.
Kroenke has owned the Nuggets since 2000. In his third year of ownership, the Nuggets drafted Carmelo Anthony and made the playoffs for the next decade. During that time, players flowed freely onto the Nuggets roster and KSE absorbed the Luxury Tax.
In less successful times since Anthony’s departure, tow things have happened. First, because of NFL policy, Stan Kroenke had to hand day-to-day operation of KSE and the associated franchises over to his son Josh. Second, KSE tightened the purse strings a bit. It’s not that Josh won’t spend money it’s just that a much better case now needs to be made for that expenditure.
The Nuggets attendance was NBA-worst in 2016-17, averaging 16,085 per home game. For 2017-18 they moved to 21st with 17,506 per game. They average 91.5% capacity. Those numbers will need to increase if ownership is going to be sold on this team’s needs as related to the luxury tax threshold.
The difference between this team ascending to the heights we believe they can achieve and that semi-permanent rebuild they’ve perfected could boil down to attendance. If you saw Houston at the Jazz on Friday night, you saw the level of fan support that makes spending money an easy business decision.
Denver Nuggets fans have the power to be the solution to the Charlie Brown existence they complain about. Pay for things with Nuggets logos on them. Go to games at the Pepsi Center. We have precedence, KSE has ponied up before but Josh is smart and isn’t going to go all-in with lukewarm fan support.
The Kroenke family are massive sports fans. We are spoiled in Denver between them and the Bowlen legacy. It is a business, though and there has to be a return on ownership’s investment in the Nuggets.