Thanks to Nikola Jokic and Joe Sakic, Kroenke family could’ve owned Denver’s hearts. Denver’s eyeballs. They blew it.

The window wasn’t just there. It was gaping. The Broncos spent most of the last four years as one of the NFL’s great double sided palms, a football giant dying on its feet from self-inflicted wounds. The Rockies were — and based on the last 20 days, still are — a clown show masquerading as a Major League Baseball team.

But the Avalanche and Nuggets? Since 2018, dang it, they were different.

They had clever front offices. They had savvy coaches who won. They had superstars. They had hope. They were young. They were exciting. They were entertaining as heck to watch, most nights.

Only there was one teensy problem. Much of the Front Range, certainly the ones with cable packages who cared, couldn’t watch them. Not from the comfort of their homes, at any rate.

After contracts with Comcast and Dish Network went away in late 2019, the Avs and Nuggs, the best sports teams in a sports-crazy market, went away, too.

You know, Stan Kroenke, grand poobah of KSE — Kroenke Sports & Entertainment — and his son Josh, the poobah-in-waiting who met with reporters Friday? They coulda owned this town. Well, owned more of it, anyway.

And not just in terms of real estate, even though that’s how poobahs are judged these days. We’re talking hearts and minds. Hearts, minds and eyeballs.

There was a window here, Josh. A wide-open layup, buddy. An empty net.

And you blew it.

“From my perspective, when the Avalanche had their championship runs in the late ’90s, and early ’00s, there (are) a massive amount of fans that are still hanging on to the nostalgia of what that meant,” Kroenke said Friday at Ball Arena, a day after his Avs stomped Edmonton, 4-0, to take a 2-0 series lead into Game 3 of the NHL’s Western Conference Finals.


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