Molson Coors has ended its 22-year run as an equity owner of the Rockies, selling the company's 14.5 percent stake to Arizona developer Jay Stein, according to the SportsBusiness Journal. The brewer has held its stake in the Rockies since the team's 1991 inception.
The sale, however, will not affect the name of the ballpark, which will remain Coors Field.
Coors played a pivotal investment role in establishing the Rockies franchise more than two decades ago. The company, which merged with Molson in 2005, remained tied to the Rockies ever since and in 1995 agreed to the ballpark naming rights in a $15 million deal over an "indefinite period."
"Molson Coors is proud of the role we played in bringing a Major League Baseball team to Denver and remains highly supportive of the Colorado Rockies," Molson Coors wrote in a statement to SportsBusiness Journal. "However, we have decided to sell our 14.5 percent stake in the team so that we can focus our resources more fully on building our global beer business. This transaction has no impact on the naming rights for the stadium, which will remain Coors Field."
As for the buyer, Stein is a president of Sandor Development in Scottsdale, Ariz. He previously held a similar ownership role with the Padres, forming part of Jeff Moorad's ownership group in 2009. Moorad sold those shares last year to San Diego's current owners.
The Denver Post had also recently been attempting to sell its 7.3 percent stake in the Rockies, though the Post has reportedly taken its offer off the market for the time being. Colorado's principal ownership group consists of the Monfort brothers, Dick and Charlie; the latter was part of the organization's original ownership.
Paul Casella is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @paul_casella.