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THE MOST POWERFUL MAN IN SPORTS ... YOU HAD NO IDEA, DID YOU? STAN KROENKE
L. Jon Wertheim
November 19, 2012
SPORTS' ULTIMATE KINGPIN IS AN UNASSUMING REAL ESTATE TYCOON FROM CENTRAL MISSOURI WHOSE PROPERTIES, FROM THE NFL'S RAMS TO THE PREMIER LEAGUE'S ARSENAL, ARE WORTH SOME $4 BILLION. HE BOUGHT THEM FOR SHEER LOVE OF THE GAMES—AND BECAUSE THEY PAY OFF
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November 19, 2012

The Most Powerful Man In Sports ... You Had No Idea, Did You? Stan Kroenke

SPORTS' ULTIMATE KINGPIN IS AN UNASSUMING REAL ESTATE TYCOON FROM CENTRAL MISSOURI WHOSE PROPERTIES, FROM THE NFL'S RAMS TO THE PREMIER LEAGUE'S ARSENAL, ARE WORTH SOME $4 BILLION. HE BOUGHT THEM FOR SHEER LOVE OF THE GAMES—AND BECAUSE THEY PAY OFF

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Sure enough, Kroenke deflects even the most remotely tendentious question and steers the conversation to a happier place. Which usually has something to do with all that is righteous and promising about sports. Arsenal has more than 11 million Facebook likes. Sports-themed video games give kids all over the world a chance to identify with players. It's never been easier to be an engaged fan, certainly more so than when Josh was growing up in the 1980s and '90s, and even more than during the childhood of the paterfamilias in the '50s.

Finally, the question is posed: Where, ultimately, is the industry going?

The world's leading investor in sports thinks about it, starts an answer and then restarts. He is reading Robert D. Kaplan's book The Revenge of Geography. Standing in a suite in London, 4,332 miles from Mora, Mo., Kroenke stares macroscopically at 84,000 fans, most of them Europeans, watching an NFL game. And he settles on this: "You know how they say, It's a small world? Well, the world is a big place too."

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