How Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke’s Billion-Dollar Empire Began

It’s been an interesting year for Stan Kroenke alright. With Arsenal eager for a top-four finish and the Rams securing their first Super Bowl win in over 20 years. But what does next year hold? Will Arsenal see more success? And will the Rams do it all over again? Well, as for Kroenke’s NFL team, a comparison site like OddsChecker ranks the Rams among the top candidates to win Super Bowl LVII, so you can’t write them off just yet, as with Kroenke’s finances and Sean McVay’s coaching anything is possible. It’s believed that Kroenke’s net worth is somewhere in the region of £8.5 Billion. But just where did Silent Stan’s money come from? From sweeping up in his father’s lumber business to one of the richest men in the world, this is the story of Stan Kroenke and the making of his empire.

 

Beginnings 

In Mora, Missouri there is a population of just 600 people. Back in 1947, it was even smaller. Even the cafes and bars in Mora have only a handful of reviews online and if you search for images of this tiny settlement, you will find little more than a few photographs of its greenery and nature. It’s a ghost town surrounded by nothing but the beautiful and desolate wilderness of the American mid-east. But it was in this ghost town, that one of the world’s richest men was born.

Kroenke didn’t have much at all growing up, and most of those close to him thought that he’d do little more than inherit the lumber business and make a living from that. But Kroenke always strived for more. His first step towards becoming a millionaire and then billionaire began in his father’s lumber store. He started out sweeping up for his dad before being allowed to do the books. Then Kroenke made his way to the University of Missouri where he studied and cleaned tables to earn a bit of extra money. After university, however, everything changed and this is when Kroenke had his first breakthrough and his first taste of success.

The Breakthrough

Kroenke asked his father for $1,500, a decent amount of money back in those days, in order to buy a small clothing store. Not too long later he sold the store for a big return on the investment. His new money led to numerous connections and through these he met his wife, Ann Walton, the daughter of Bud Walton. Bud Walton’s name doesn’t really ring a bell for many, but his business certainly does as co-founder of Walmart. Kroenke not only found love with Ann Walton but also gained priceless business advice from the Walton Brothers about managing a business. As if that wasn’t enough help from two of the biggest names in global business, the Walton’s also brought his attention to real estate development, a sector he worked in until 1985 and made his first serious amount of money.

The Beginning of the Kroenke Sports Empire

The year was 1993 when a 46-year-old Stan Kroenke first delved into the industry that would cement his name among the business greats. Of course, I am talking about the sports industry. Initially, Kroenke attempted to bid on a team for St. Louis when the NFL was looking to expand; however, those in charge wouldn’t let his grand plan go ahead. Instead of making another bid, Kroenke bought a 30% stake in the Rams in order to help out his friend and Rams owner, Georgia Frontiere, who was interested in taking the team from Los Angeles to St. Louis. Over time Kroenke upped his share to 40% and added to his empire with the purchase of the National Hockey League team, Colorado Avalanche, and basketball team, the Denver Nuggets.

Arsenal FC

In 2007, Kroenke headed across the water to the UK where he bought a share in Arsenal. Rather quickly, Silent Stan upped his shares in the Gunners from 9.9% to 62% and this is when things really began to fall into place. Around the same time, Kroenke bought a 60% share in the Rams which made him the owner of the team. Then Kroenke had another huge brain flash.

Moving the Rams

There is very little doubt in anybody’s mind that LA is a much more famous city than St Louis. It’s also much bigger and Kroenke noticed that Los Angeles had more than five times as many people living there than St Louis. More people equal more fans which equals more revenue. With the lease for the stadium in St. Louis’ coming to an end in 2015, Kroenke decided to relocate the Rams to LA where they remain to this day. However, this fantastic business idea came with a huge cost. Kroenke had to pay a $550 million relocation fee as well as another $790 million to St. Louis. As if that wasn’t enough, in 2020, Kroenke oversaw the building of a new LA Rams stadium, the SoFi stadium, for a massive $5 billion, making it the most expensive in the entire world.

Other Businesses

Before we can wrap up the Stan Kroenke story, we have to mention the Los Angeles Gladiators and the Los Angeles Guerillas.

The LA Gladiators were founded in 2017 as a new e-sports team to compete in the newly founded Overwatch League.

In 2019, Kroenke established The Guerillas, another gaming team, that would take part in the Call of Duty League.

And This Leads Us to Today

Kroenke is somewhat of a perplexing character. He seems introverted, reclusive, and almost shy. He’s also controversial, especially in St. Louis for obvious reasons. Like Marmite, some love him, others hate him, but regardless of your opinion on the enigmatic entrepreneur, his story is undeniably inspiring. His record of accomplishments, as a two-time Super Bowl winner, a Stanley Cup winner, and an MLS Cup winner makes Silent Stan one of the most successful owners in sporting history. From the sweeping boy in his father’s small business to one of the most influential players in world business, it’s hard not to feel a touch motivated by the life and the many successes of Stan Kroenke.

Tags Arsenal Krownke la rams

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  1. The first thing he did when becoming the majority shareholder at The Arsenal in 2011 was to close the message board on the club’s website.

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