HOUSTON -- When it comes to the NFL's return to Los Angeles, turns out that Rams owner Stan Kroenke was the chosen one.
The league's owners confirmed as much Tuesday when they approved Kroenke's bid to relocate the Rams to Los Angeles and his planned Inglewood stadium project. For those unfamiliar with the man who brought football back to Los Angeles, here are five things you should know.
1. He's had a home in the L.A. area for years: While it's pretty well known that Kroenke has longstanding ties to the Midwest, he made it a point to let the world know that he has maintained a home in the Los Angeles area for more than 20 years. That residence is actually in Malibu, not far from where the Rams practiced with the Dallas Cowboys in Oxnard last summer. Kroenke told a story Tuesday about an employee's mother seeing a fan in a Rams hat in the Los Angeles area who said the Rams returning to Los Angeles would be the best week of his life.
2. He's the NFL's second-wealthiest owner: According to Forbes, Kroenke is worth $7.7 billion. But that number is only expected to grow as the value of his team does upon arrival in Los Angeles. That total places Kroenke second on Forbes' list of the wealthiest owners and No. 63 on the list of richest Americans as of last September. Kroenke has made his wealth developing strip malls all over the country but also has long made a habit of collecting sports properties. Kroenke is the owner of the Colorado Avalanche, Denver Nuggets, Major League Soccer's Colorado Rapids and the Colorado Mammoth of the National Lacrosse League. He is also the majority stakeholder in Arsenal FC soccer club. His holdings also include everything from media entities to wineries.
3. Although he's moving to L.A., his Missouri roots run deep: Kroenke was born in tiny Cole Camp, a small town in central Missouri, and was named after two legendary St. Louis Cardinals baseball players, Stan Musial and Enos Slaughter. Kroenke's central Missouri ties only grew further when he went to college at the University of Missouri-Columbia, where he earned a bachelor's degree and a masters of business administration. Kroenke has long owned a home in Columbia, and his son, Josh, played basketball for the Tigers.
4. He doesn't speak much to the public: When Kroenke addressed the media here on Tuesday night, it was the first time he spoke publicly about his football team since the news conference to announce the hiring of coach Jeff Fisher in 2012. Kroenke has earned the moniker "Silent Stan" for his reclusive approach to media appearances, only speaking when he absolutely has to. As the NFL's leader of the charge back to Los Angeles, it's fair to wonder whether Kroenke will now step into the spotlight on a more regular basis.
5. He's married to the daughter of Wal-Mart co-founder Bud Walton: Kroenke met his future wife on a ski trip to Aspen, Colorado, in 1971. It just so happened to turn out that she was Ann Walton, the daughter of Wal-Mart co-founder Bud Walton. They married three years later. Today, the Kroenkes are worth about $12 billion combined.