Rams owner Stan Kroenke is loved by Los Angeles but hated by Arsenal fans and St Louis natives

STAN KROENKE stands on the cusp of bringing NFL glory back to Los Angeles after 35 years.

The 71-year-old billionaire will watch his LA Rams take on the New England Patriots in Super Bowl 53 at Atlanta’s Mercedes Benz Stadium on Sunday night.

 Stan Kroenke will watch his Los Angeles Rams go for Super Bowl glory on Sunday night

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Stan Kroenke will watch his Los Angeles Rams go for Super Bowl glory on Sunday night
 Stan Kroenke is building a spectacular new stadium for the Rams in Inglewood

Los Angeles Rams
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Stan Kroenke is building a spectacular new stadium for the Rams in Inglewood

America’s second city hasn’t celebrated an NFL title since the LA Raiders’ victory in 1984 and didn’t even have a team for two whole decades.

Arsenal owner Kroenke brought a stake in the Rams in 1995 when they moved from California to St Louis, the same year the Raiders uprooted to Oakland.

Kroenke then moved the Rams and professional back to Los Angeles three years ago and been hailed by locals.

He purchased 60 acres of land in Inglewood to build a swanky £2bn stadium that will host the Rams and Chargers from next year and the Super Bowl in 2022 and assembled a squad that will compete for the NFL’s biggest prize.

That may sound like a far cry to the Kroenke that Arsenal fans are growing frustrated with after Unai Emery’s admission that the club can’t afford new signings.

But Arsenal supporters have nothing to complain about when compared to St Louis residents, who accused Kroenke of turning his back on his home state and ripping their NFL team away.

 Stan Kroenke has been hailed in Los Angeles for bringing NFL back to the city

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Stan Kroenke has been hailed in Los Angeles for bringing NFL back to the city
 LA's new NFL stadium will cost upwards of £2bn

Los Angeles Rams
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LA's new NFL stadium will cost upwards of £2bn
 LA's new stadium will be ready for the 2020 NFL season to host both the Rams and Chargers

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LA's new stadium will be ready for the 2020 NFL season to host both the Rams and Chargers

St Louis native TV presenter Andy Cohen stuck his middle finger up at Kroenke on his show two weeks ago “because the Rams were ripped from my hometown by their crook owner”.

Kroenke became full Rams owner in 2010 and said: “I’m born and raised in Missouri. People in our state know me. People know I can be trusted. People know I am an honourable guy.”

But what followed was years of finger pointing and broken promises over building a new stadium.

St Louis taxpayers committed to building a £800m stadium to keep the Rams in the city having already paid for the £213m Edward Jones Dome that opened in 1995 and lured the Rams from LA.

The NFL were keen to move a team back to Los Angeles and Kroenke decided that keeping the Rams in St Louis was no longer viable.

In January 2016 received the blessing of the league and fellow team owners to build his LA super stadium and move to Rams to the west coast.

Kroenke said: “This decision is about what is in the best long-term interests of the Rams organisation and the National Football League.

 Arsenal fans protest at owner Stan Kroenke

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Arsenal fans protest at owner Stan Kroenke
 St Louis fans were left furious when the team was moved to Los Angeles

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St Louis fans were left furious when the team was moved to Los Angeles
 Fans in St Louis pleaded with Stan Kroenke not to take their Rams away

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Fans in St Louis pleaded with Stan Kroenke not to take their Rams away

“We have negotiated in good faith with the Regional Sports Authority for more than a decade trying to find a viable and sustainable solution.

“When it became apparent that we might not be able to reach an agreement, it was then and only then that we looked at alternatives."

St Louis officials were left irate at the decision, accusing Kroenke of misrepresenting the city and the NFL of abandoning their fan base.

The city’s mayor Francis Slay said: “The NFL ignored the facts. They ignored the loyalty of St Louis fans. They ignored a viable plan for a new stadium.

 Arsenal fans are frustrated at Stan Kroenke for his investment levels in the club

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Arsenal fans are frustrated at Stan Kroenke for his investment levels in the club
 Los Angeles natives celebrate the Rams returning in 2016

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Los Angeles natives celebrate the Rams returning in 2016
 Los Angeles will have one of the league's best stadiums when it opens next year and host a Super Bowl in 2022

Los Angeles Rams
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Los Angeles will have one of the league's best stadiums when it opens next year and host a Super Bowl in 2022

Super Bowl 2019 – Live stream, kick-off time, TV channel, date, location, latest odds and half-time show information

“The NFL sent a loud and clear message: their home cities and hometown fans are commodities to be abandoned once they no longer suit the league’s purposes.”

Legal disputes continue to rumble with St Louis seeking damages from the NFL and the 32 teams while the Rams also agreed to pay a £18m settlement to personal seat license holders in the city.

In 2015, the St Louis Rams were valued at £1.1bn on Forbes, but the move to LA saw that more than double to £2.2bn last year.

Kroenke told Los Angeles media: “I love LA, it’s a unique and wonderful place, and we really wanted to do it right.

“The people truly do appreciate having the Rams back, they view it as their team that came home, and it’s been really wonderful to be part of this.”

STAN KROENKE stands on the cusp of bringing NFL glory back to Los Angeles after 35 years.