ST. LOUIS — Greg Marecek, a former owner of KFNS and founder of the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame, died Sunday. He was 71.
The hall of fame announced his death. No cause of death was given.
The organization said Marecek, a former sports editor for the Suburban Journals, in 1993 founded the company Spirit Sports, which produced programs for CBS television and the NCAA.
In 1997, he put together a 22-person investor group to pay $3.75 million for KFNS 590 AM. That company, Missouri Sports Radio, went on to acquire 100.7 FM and 1190 AM. It sold to Atlanta-based Big League Broadcasting in 2004, netting Marecek between $2.5 million and $3 million, the Business Journal reported. He stayed on as a consultant for Big League Broadcasting.
Marecek, who also wrote several books on St. Louis sports, then went on to found the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame, which debuted in 2009. The nonprofit's displays are now located at Enterprise Center.
Hall of Fame Vice President Tim Moore said Marecek made the hall of fame possible.
"The best word for Greg is 'visionary,'" Moore said. "He envisioned these things, things that were important for St. Louis-area sports, especially the hall of fame, and without his efforts to begin that and get a number of people on board to support it, it never would have happened."
The hall has inducted 258 men and women at its annual induction dinners.