Stan Kroenke

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Stan Kroenke
Born Enos Stanley Kroenke
(1947-07-29) July 29, 1947 (age 69)
Columbia, Missouri
Other names Silent Stan[1]
Education B.A. University of Missouri, 1969
B.S. University of Missouri
MBA. University of Missouri
Occupation Owner of Los Angeles Rams
Owner of Kroenke Sports Enterprises
Chairman of THF Realty
Owner of Colorado Mammoth
Founder of Kroenke Group
Owner of Colorado Rapids
Owner of Arsenal F.C.
Net worth IncreaseUS$8 billion (April 2016)[2]
Political party Republican[3]
Religion Christian[4]
Spouse(s) Ann Walton Kroenke (1974–present)
Children 2, son Josh and daughter Whitney Ann
Family Walton

Enos Stanley "Stan" Kroenke (/ˈkrŋki/; born July 29, 1947) is an American business entrepreneur. He is the owner of Kroenke Sports Enterprises, which includes the Denver Nuggets of the NBA, Colorado Avalanche of the NHL, Colorado Rapids of Major League Soccer, Colorado Mammoth of the National Lacrosse League and the Los Angeles Rams of the NFL (the Colorado sports properties are in the name of Josh Kroenke, one of his children, to satisfy NFL ownership restrictions that forbid a team owner from owning teams in other markets). Kroenke is also the largest shareholder of English football club Arsenal.

Kroenke is named after St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Famers Enos Slaughter and Stan Musial. His wife, Ann Walton Kroenke, is the daughter of Walmart co-founder James Walton. Kroenke was estimated to be worth $US 8 billion by Forbes in 2016.

Personal life[edit]

Kroenke grew up in Mora, Missouri, an unincorporated community with a population of approximately two dozen, where his father owned Mora Lumber Company.[5][6] His first job was sweeping the floor at his father's lumber yard. By age 10 he was keeping the company's books. In a September 2011 interview with The Telegraph newspaper, Kroenke said he was lucky — both as a youngster and later in life — to be surrounded by family and friends who saw the value of attaining a good education, which he said contributed to his success. At Cole Camp (Missouri) High School, he played baseball, basketball and ran track.[7] He is of German descent and was raised Lutheran.[6]

Kroenke obtained a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Missouri.

On a ski trip to Aspen, Colorado, Kroenke met his future wife, Ann Walton, a Wal-Mart heiress. They married in 1974.[6] Already wealthy from real estate, he accrued significant additional wealth when he and Ann inherited a stake in Wal-Mart Stores Inc. upon the 1995 death of her father, James Walton. As of September 2015, that stake is worth $4.8 billion.[8]

Real estate[edit]

He founded the Kroenke Group in 1983, a real estate development firm that has built numerous shopping centers and apartment buildings. Since his marriage to Walton, he has been in the special position to develop many of the plazas near Wal-Mart stores.

He is also the chairman of THF Realty, an independent real estate development company that specializes in suburban development. He founded this corporation in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1991. In 2016, THF’s portfolio was valued at more than $2 billion, including more than 100 projects totaling 20 million square feet, primarily in retail shopping centers.[9]

Kroenke Sports Enterprises[edit]

Kroenke is a well-known sports mogul. As the head and owner of Kroenke Sports Enterprises, he bought a stake in the National Football League's St. Louis Rams after their relocation to Missouri in 1995. In 2000, he became full owner of both the National Basketball Association's Denver Nuggets and the National Hockey League's Colorado Avalanche, purchasing the teams from Charlie Lyons' Ascent Entertainment Group. In 2002, he partnered with Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen and former Bronco quarterback John Elway to become part-owner of the Arena Football League's Colorado Crush. He continued to grow his sports empire in 2004 when he purchased the National Lacrosse League's Colorado Mammoth and Major League Soccer's Colorado Rapids from Phil Anschutz.

In 2010, Kroenke exercised his right of first refusal to buy the remaining interest in the Rams from the estate of late owner Georgia Frontiere.[10] On August 25, 2010, he became full owner of the Rams by unanimous consent of the NFL. To gain approval from NFL owners, Kroenke agreed to turn over control of the Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche to his son, Josh, by the end of 2010, and he had to give up his majority stake in both teams in December 2014. The NFL does not allow its owners to hold majority control of major league teams in other NFL markets.[11] On October 7, 2015, the NFL approved transfer of his ownership stake of the Avalanche and Nuggets to his wife, Ann Walton Kroenke.[12]

Kroenke Sports Enterprise also owns Pepsi Center in Denver, home of the Nuggets and Avalanche, and co-owns Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, home of the Rapids. Both venues were built by his development company. In 2004, Kroenke launched his own competitor to FSN Rocky Mountain (now known as Root Sports Rocky Mountain), Altitude, a new regional sports network which became the official broadcaster for both of Kroenke's teams on launch. Kroenke also established TicketHorse, a ticket company that provides in-house sales for all of his teams.

Kroenke is a somewhat reclusive man. He is popularly known as "Silent Stan" because he almost never gives interviews to the press.[11] He rarely interferes in his teams' day-to-day operations.

Kroenke is the largest shareholder of Premier League football (soccer) club Arsenal. Arsenal already had a technical link-up with Kroenke's Colorado Rapids when in April 2007 Granada Ventures, a subsidiary of ITV plc, had sold its 9.9% stake in Arsenal Holdings plc to Kroenke's KSE UK inc.[13] Kroenke went on to buy further shares in the club, taking his total stake up to 12.19%.[14] The club's board initially expressed skepticism that a bid would be in its best interests,[15] but gradually warmed to him as part of counteracting Alisher Usmanov's rival bid for the club.

By June 2008 the board had prepared to let Kroenke take over the club,[16] and on September 19, 2008, it was officially announced that Kroenke had joined the Arsenal board of directors.[17] Kroenke had a beneficial interest in, and controlled voting rights, over 18,594 shares, representing 29.9% of the issued shares. Thus, he was nearing the maximum 29.99% threshold, beyond which he would be forced to make an offer for all remaining shares.[18]

On April 10, 2011, it was reported that Kroenke was in advanced talks to complete the takeover of Arsenal.[19][20] The following day, it was announced that he increased his shareholding in Arsenal to 62.89% by purchasing the stakes of Danny Fiszman and Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith, and agreed to make an offer for the rest of the club at £11,750 per share, valuing the club at £731M.[21][22]

Arsenal Controversy[edit]

On March 16, 2016, it was reported that Arsenal fans had started a petition to remove Kroenke as majority owner; citing increased ticket sales, a worsening team and a quote from Kroenke prior days where he said: "I didn't buy Arsenal stake to win trophies."[23]

On March 21, 2016, at a home match against Everton, the entire stadium chanted "Get out of our club, f*** off Stan Kroenke, get out of our club!"[24]

On April 9, 2016, at a home match against West Ham, ESPN cameras showed pictures of fans holding banners that read "Love Arsenal, Hate Kroenke," which soon trended on Twitter.[25]

On April 26, 2016, it was reported that Arsenal fans would stage a protest during a weekend match against Norwich City to remove Stan Kroenke as majority owner.[26]

Rams Relocation Controversy[edit]

On April 13, 1995, Stan Kroenke helped Georgia Frontiere move the Los Angeles Rams from Anaheim, California to St. Louis, Missouri by purchasing a 30% share of the team.[27]

In April 2010, Stan Kroenke said: "I'm going to attempt to do everything that I can to keep the Rams in St. Louis. "[28]

In February 2013, the Rams and the City of St. Louis went to arbitration over a clause in the Rams lease that stated the Rams current stadium must be in the top tier of NFL Stadiums. The arbitrators agreed with the Rams, giving the Rams the ability to break their original lease and go to a year to year lease agreement.[29]

On January 5, 2015, it was announced that the Kroenke Group was teaming up with Stockbridge Capital Group to build a 70,000 seat NFL stadium and venue in Inglewood, California, a suburb of Los Angeles, threatening the Rams' future in St. Louis. In response, St. Louis countered with National Car Rental Field, a proposed open-air stadium in the north riverfront in downtown St. Louis with the hope of the Rams staying in St. Louis.[30] The fanbase in St. Louis felt it was not being treated fairly—in 2014 the St. Louis Rams had 86% attendance despite a 6-10 record and 10 prior years of non-win seasons.,[31] forcing fans and local sportswriters to question the integrity of the NFL and Kroenke for even considering the Los Angeles plans.[32] St. Louis officials felt they were not receiving fair treatment either as Kroenke has (to date) had no talks or discussions with city officials, who have expressed interest in keeping the team in St. Louis. In a radio interview, Kroenke was labeled as "enemy number one" in his home state due to his uncanny willingness to cooperate.[33] NFL Commissioner Roger Godell also stated that the St. Louis funding plan did not meet the criteria set by the NFL, even though St. Louis offered a stadium plan lacking $100 million, but then ultimately gave $300 million to Oakland and San Diego to help fund their home markets.[34]

On November 30, 2015, Stan Kroenke met with Missouri Governor Jay Nixon at Rams Park in Earth City, Missouri.[35]

The Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers were also unhappy with older stadiums ( Coliseum in Oakland and Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego respectively) lacking updated amenities and proposed a stadium in Carson, California, another suburb of Los Angeles, in competition with Kroenke's Inglewood proposal.

On January 4, 2016, all three teams applied for relocation to Los Angeles for the 2016 NFL season.[36] The following day, the Rams and Stan Kroenke released their proposal for relocation. Some of the Rams' conclusions were disputed by the Mayor of St. Louis Francis Slay (in a letter to Roger Goodell),[37] The St. Louis Regional Chamber,[38] and Forbes.[39]

On January 12, 2016, the NFL approved the Rams' application to relocate from St. Louis back to Los Angeles with a 30-2 vote and Kroenke was praised by other NFL owners afterwards, although the move was generally considered malicious by fans.[40][41]

On January 13, 2016, officials were pondering Stan Kroenke's removal from the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame.[42]

On January 14, 2016, at a St. Louis Blues game, St. Louis Cardinals owner William DeWitt, Jr. and Blues owner Tom Stillman dropped a puck together to celebrate the "best sports city in America," as the crowd chanted "Kroenke sucks!"[43]

The initial $200 million as a standard part of the NFL's G4 stadium loan, plus the additional $100 requested from St. Louis totaled $300 million which the NFL ultimately deemed inadequate, was then granted to Oakland and San Diego to maintain their respected teams.[44]

It was reported by many sources that the Rams, although changing their name and city to Los Angeles, were still trying to get players to sign contracts with Missouri as the state of their employer, suspected in part with the relaxed Workers Rights laws in Missouri vs. the much stricter California laws. The NFL Players union has told all agents to not accept any contracts until the verbiage is changed for the Rams to be a California employer.[45]

Other businesses[edit]

In 2006, Kroenke, in partnership with the money manager Charles Banks, acquired the Napa Valley winery Screaming Eagle. (In April 2009, Banks said he was no longer involved with Screaming Eagle.)[46]

Kroenke is a major owner of working ranches, owning a total of 848,631 acres. The Land Report magazine ranked him as the United States' ninth-largest landowner in 2015.[47][48] Among notable purchases is his February 2016 acquisition of the famous Waggoner Ranch in Texas, the largest ranch within one fenceline.[49]


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  6. ^ a b c Longman, Jere (January 14, 2010). "From an Owner to the Quietest Sports Emperor". The New York Times. 
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  19. ^ [1] Archived March 21, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
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  33. ^ Roggin, Fred (2015-06-15). "StL Mayor's Office would welcome the Chargers or Raiders if Rams leave". The Beast 980. Retrieved 2015-06-15. 
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  36. ^ "Owner of St. Louis Rams plans to build NFL stadium in Inglewood". Los Angeles Times. November 11, 2015. Retrieved January 5, 2015. 
  37. ^ "Slay to Goodell: I cannot ever remember meeting Stan Kroenke.". St. Louis Post Dispatch. January 7, 2016. Retrieved January 7, 2015. 
  38. ^ "St. Louis to Kroenke: You're 'preposterous'.". St. Louis Post Dispatch. January 7, 2016. Retrieved January 7, 2015. 
  39. ^ "Stan Kroenke's Bad Relocation Math.". St. Louis Post Dispatch. January 6, 2016. Retrieved January 7, 2015. 
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  41. ^ Thomas, Jim. "NFL owners thrilled by Kroenke's move". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved 13 January 2016. 
  42. ^ "Missouri Sports Hall of Fame mulling Kroenke's removal". KMOV. 13 January 2016. Retrieved 13 January 2016. 
  43. ^ "St. Louis fans chant 'Kroenke sucks' amid ceremonial puck drop". KMOV. 14 January 2016. Retrieved 16 March 2016. 
  44. ^ Florio, Mike. "Goodell reminds San Diego that $300 million is available for stadium". NBC Sports. Retrieved 13 January 2016. 
  45. ^ "The Rams just hit St. Louis with the worst slap in the face yet". 12 March 2016. Retrieved 16 March 2016. 
  46. ^ Laube, James and Sogg, Daniel, Wine Spectator (March 21, 2006). "Screaming Eagle Sold". 
  47. ^ "Billionaire Stan Kroenke Buys $132.5 Million Broken O Ranch". Forbes. Retrieved 2015-05-28. 
  48. ^ "2015 Land Report 100". The Land Report. Retrieved 2015-11-02. 
  49. ^ Gruley, Bryan. "NFL Owner Stan Kroenke Buys Texas Mega-Ranch Listed for $725 Million". Bloomberg Business. Retrieved 25 February 2016. 

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