Los Angeles Rams owner Stan Kroenke is 71-years-old, which makes him six years younger than New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft. Forbes lists his real-time net worth as $8.5 billion, which is about $2 billion more than Kraft’s $6.6 billion net worth.
According to Just Richest, Kroenke was born in Columbus, Missouri, in 1947 to a family that got into the lumber business. He reportedly started doing the company’s accounting at age 10. Kroenke would go on to build his fortune in real estate. He started the Kroenke group in the early 1980s and focused his business around buying and constructing shopping malls and office and industrial buildings in the suburbs.
His rise up to the top of the business ladder is directly linked to Walmart’s success over the years. Kroenke has been married to Walmart heiress Ann Walton since 1974 and he built his retail strip malls around the retailer’s locations. When they married, Walmart only had about 100 stores and had a presence in less than 10 states, Bis Now noted. Now they’re a global retail giant, making the Waltons the richest family in the United States.
Kroenke’s relationship with the Waltons has only added to his bottom line. As the Denver Post reported, Kroenke’s real estate companies have been the benefactor of millions in rent and fees. Kroenke has been able to parlay that wealth into investments in sports. In addition to the Los Angeles Rams, he currently owns the Denver Nuggets, the Colorado Avalanche, the Colorado Rapids, and Arsenal F.C. in the United Kingdom’s Premier League.
— L.A. Daily News (@ladailynews) January 31, 2019
Kroenke’s acquisition of the L.A. Rams wasn’t without friction. He brought the team back to California from St. Louis, Missouri in 2016, much to the dismay of football fans in Kroenke’s home state, Deadspin reported. As the article notes, the NFL initially considered hosting the Raiders and the Chargers in Los Angeles. The Rams would have remained in St. Louis and everyone seemed on board with that, since the Kroenke and the city of St. Louis were negotiating a stadium deal.
According to Deadspin, the city bent over backward to give the team owner a deal that would keep the team in St. Louis. But Kroenke was dead-set on moving to Los Angeles and the move was made. As Biz Journals reported, the Rams’ stadium in Inglewood, California ended up costing $4.25 billion. Stan and Ann Kroenke made a $1.6 billion investment into its construction. It’s set to open in 2020.
The billionaire isn’t too popular among Arsenal fans in the U.K. either, per Deadspin.
He started off as a minority owner of the team and bought out businessman Alisher Usmanov’s shares to become the sole owner. Arsenal’s performance in the Premier League has not been stellar in recent years and some fans see a correlation between Kroenke’s business-focused attitude and its failures on the soccer field.