COLUMBIA — Columbia native Stan Kroenke purchased English Premier League soccer club Arsenal on Monday. With the purchase of Arsenal, Kroenke becomes the fifth U.S. owner of an English Premier League club.
"We are excited about the opportunity to increase our involvement with and commitment to Arsenal," Kroenke said in a statement to London's PLUS Markets.
He continued: "Arsenal is a fantastic club with a special history and tradition and a wonderful manager in Arsene Wenger. We intend to build on this rich heritage and take the club to new success."
According to the Forbes 400 list, Kroenke, who is also a real estate developer, is the 130th richest American with a net worth of $2.7 billion. His wife, Ann Walton Kroenke, is an heir to part of the Walmart fortune.
Despite initially being wary of Kroenke's intentions in 2007, Arsenal chairperson Peter Hill-Wood insisted Monday that Kroenke "will be a safe custodian" of the club's future.
"Mr. Kroenke, although relatively new to Arsenal, has shown himself to be a man who values and respects the history and traditions of this very special club that we cherish," said Hill-Wood.
With the purchase, Kroenke now owns five major sporting franchises. In addition to Arsenal, Kroenke owns the St. Louis Rams of the NFL, the Denver Nuggets of the NBA, the Colorado Avalanche of the NHL and the Colorado Rapids of Major League Soccer.
What is Stan Kroenke's most valuable sporting franchise?