Childhood & Early Life
Stanley Kroenke was born on July 29, 1947, in Columbia, Boone County, Missouri, USA, to Alvin H Kroenke and Evelyn Dimple Kroenke. His father owned a lumberyard in Mora, a small town in Missouri. As he was a hardcore supporter of the American baseball team St. Louis Cardinals, he named his son Enos Stanley Kroenke—‘Enos’ after Enos Slaughter, a player of the team which won the 1946 World Series, and ‘Stanley’ after the player Stan Musial.
Kroenke grew up in Mora. As a child he used to sweep the floors at his father's lumberyard. When he was a ten-year-old, he started maintaining the accounts of his father’s company. He also loved to listen to the radio with his grandfather. According to David Glass, former chief executive of Walmart, Kroenke was interested in knowing about businesses from a young age. Glass described Kroenke as a “sponge” who absorbs everything he can learn.
He attended Cole Camp High School in Missouri, where he excelled as a student, and additionally took interest in sports like baseball, basketball, and track. In the basketball team, he played as a forward and scored 33 points in one of the games, which became a school record and remained unbeaten for over a decade.
He went to the University of Missouri and acquired his Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, and Masters of Business Administration degrees. For some time, he attended law school as well.
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Stan Kroenke founded Kroenke Group, a real estate development company, in 1983. The company has built several marketplaces and apartments across the US, including a number of shopping centers near Walmart stores.
His company THF Realty, founded in 1991, is into development of suburban areas. By 2016, the value of the company was worth about $2 billion, and it was handling 100 large-scale projects, primarily of shopping centers.
In 1999, he established Kroenke Sports & Entertainment (KSE) in Denver. In total, the company owns five sports franchises, and a major stake in a sixth one; three stadiums; four television channels; four radio stations; one internet TV channel; 19 magazines; a franchised video game team, and several websites.
In 1999, Kroenke bought a major share in St. Louis Rams of NFL (which was later shifted to Los Angeles), and in 2000, he fully acquired Denver Nuggets of NBA, and Colorado Avalanche of NHL. In 2002, he became the co-owner of Colorado Crush of Arena Football League, and in 2004, he became the owner of Colorado Mammoth of NLL, and Colorado Rapids of MLS.
In 2004, he started the regional sports network, Altitude, which basically became the mouthpiece of his teams. His ticket company TicketHorse looked into the sales of tickets for all the games of his teams. In January 2014, it was renamed as Altitude Tickets, and a new website www.AltitudeTickets.com was launched.
In 2006, Kroenke teamed up with Charles Banks, a money manager, to acquire the Screaming Eagle, a winery in the Napa Valley. However, in 2009, Charles Banks announced that he no longer holds any stake in Screaming Eagle.
In 2010, Kroenke bought the remaining shares of St. Louis Rams, and became its sole owner. But as per NFL rule, he had to transfer ownership of Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche to his son Josh Kroenke before acquiring Rams. Later, in 2015, ownerships of Avalanche and Nuggets were transferred to his wife.
Kroenke built and owns the Pepsi Center in Denver, which is a multi-purpose arena and home to the Denver Nuggets, the Colorado Avalanche, and the Colorado Mammoth. When the sports teams do not use it, the building becomes a concert venue. He also has a penthouse in the center.
He also co-owns Dick's Sporting Goods (DSG) Park in Commerce City, which was also built by his company. This $71 million worth stadium is specifically meant for soccer and is home to the Colorado Rapids. The 18,061-seated stadium also serves as a concert venue. The stadium runs over 917 acres, and includes 24 youth soccer fields, the $31 million worth civic center, and 1 million square feet of retail and commercial space.
In January 2015, KSE Outdoor Group was formed. One of the largest multimedia groups in the world, it deals in multichannel outdoor network, publishing, and digital products of KSE. KSE also acquired InterMedia Outdoors, and Sportsman Channel, a leading group of outdoor magazines and websites, and brought them under the control of KSE Outdoor Group. KSE also owns Outdoor Channel, and co-owns World Fishing Network (WFN).
Besides the Texas ranch, he owns the Waggoner ranch, which is one of 20 largest ranches in the US. He also owns ranches in Arizona, Montana, Wyoming, and British Columbia, where he hunts and organizes fishing. He also has three vineyards and a luxury resort for wine merchants in California.
In 2017, he was strongly criticized for launching an outdoor sports TV channel in the UK, which is controlled by Outdoor Sportsman Group, a subsidiary of KSE. The controversial channel is scheduled to air regular bloodsports and hunting programs, including killing of elephants, lions, and other endangered African species. The COO of League Against Cruel Sports, Philippa King, termed the channel as “sick TV channel”, and warned Kroenke to “tread carefully.” In 2016, he had launched a similar outdoor TV channel in the US.
In January 2018, Kroenke, who held majority shares in Arsenal, increased his stake to 67.09 per cent with an additional investment of £616,000.
Stan Kroenke met Ann Walton, daughter of Walmart co-founder James Lawrence ‘Bud’ Walton, in Aspen, Colorado. The couple married in 1974. He has two children with Ann—daughter Whitney Ann Kroenke, who was born on September 29, 1977, and son Josh Kroenke, who was born on May 7, 1980. He has two other children as well—Brett Kroenke and Katie Kroenke.
After his father-in-law Bud Walton’s death in 1995, Kroenke inherited a stake in Walmart Stores Inc., which was worth $4.8 billion as of September 2015.
According to his friends, he loves to travel internationally, and is a compulsive reader. He loves to read biographies and historical novels, among other things. He also enjoys working out at his private gym.
He is a supporter of the Republican Party, and sponsors it from time to time. In 2000, he donated $220,000 to the party. He also donates to the University of Missouri.