The Fabulous Real Estate Of 5 NFL Team Owners
With Super Bowl weekend fast approaching, Bisnow zoomed in on some of the real estate holdings of NFL team owners — many of whom have a background in commercial real estate.
Check out the impressive portfolios of the owners of the Super Bowl LI teams — Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft — and several others.
Arthur Blank, Atlanta Falcons
Super Bowl-bound Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank bought the franchise in 2001 for roughly $545M. An American businessman worth $3.3B and the co-founder of Home Depot, Blank is spearheading development of the Falcons' new Mercedes-Benz complex. His company, AMB Sports & Entertainment, has put up millions to see the project through, financing the stadium through long-term debt that values the property at about $1.5B. The multipurpose stadium with a retractable roof is scheduled to be completed this year, and boasts a restaurant, an art collection, a team store and more. Blank is also improving the impoverished area around the stadium, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s old home, by building a workforce training facility, homes for police officers and infrastructure to reduce flooding.
The 74-year-old also favors large farms, purchasing his second ranch in Montana this month. The 6,300-acre West Creek Ranch adjoins the first ranch he bought in 2001, the Mountain Sky Guest Ranch.
Blank has also made a name for himself in professional sports, first buying the Falcons, now worth $2.1B, then forking over $70M to bring a major league soccer team, Atlanta United FC, to the city.
Robert Kraft, New England Patriots
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft (no affiliation to Kraft Foods) co-founded the Kraft Group, a family business that specializes in manufacturing and real estate development, with more than $1B in projects under its belt. One of Kraft's biggest projects to date is the $350M retail and entertainment complex built as an extension to Gillette Stadium. The outdoor mall, called Patriot Place, comprises 1.3M SF of retail, entertainment, office, medical, restaurant and hotel space, and is one of the staples of the Kraft family's empire.
The family bought the New England Patriots in January 1994 for $175M — the franchise is now worth roughly $3.4B, according to Forbes. Kraft has continued to expand his sports assets over the years by grabbing a stake in martial arts promotion company Ultimate Fighting Championship, in addition to purchasing the New England Revolution MLS.
In late 2010 Kraft and his wife, Myra, sold their 7,500 SF Cape Cod home to their eldest son Jonathan for $3.8M. The home was built in 2006 and features seven bedrooms and six baths.
Stan Kroenke, Los Angeles Rams
If ever there was an NFL owner with an interesting array of real estate holdings, it is Stan Kroenke, the $8B real estate mogul who is the eighth-largest landowner in the country. Kroenke founded Kroenke Group in 1983 and THF Realty in 1991, though it wasn’t until 2010 that he bid on the then-St. Louis Rams for $750M. Kroenke is spearheading development on the Rams' new Los Angeles-based stadium, which Rams chief operating officer and executive vice president of football operations Kevin Demoff said will resemble an "amusement park for NFL fans." The stadium is a 300-acre entertainment hub that will include a hotel on-site, in addition to single-family homes, office space, 1M SF of retail, a 6,000-seat performance theater and a 25-acre park.
Though Kroenke's made his millions developing warehouses and shopping centers throughout the country, he has amassed a pretty hefty personal real estate portfolio along the way. Just last year, Kroenke bought the Waggoner Ranch, a historical 535,000-acre ranch in Vernon, Texas, for a speculated $725M. It is the most expensive ranch ever sold, and one of the largest. In addition, the real estate mogul’s sports empire extends beyond the NFL; Kroenke also owns the English soccer club Arsenal and a trio of Denver-based teams: the NBA's Denver Nuggets, the NHL's Colorado Avalanche and MLS' Colorado Rapids.
Stephen Ross, Miami Dolphins
New York's Related Cos chairman and founder Stephen Ross is also co-owner of the Miami Dolphins, taking a 50% stake in the team in 2008. The real estate mogul is worth $7.4B and is one of the masterminds behind the $25B Hudson Yards project — the largest private real estate development in the country. Related is also working on City Place, a $6.5B mixed-use project planned in Santa Clara, Calif.
In terms of personal real estate holdings, Ross acquired the penthouse to Related Cos’ Time Warner Center twin towers in 2003, and he and his wife, Kara (a jewelry designer), live and work there. The four-bedroom apartment boasts a blend of exotic materials, according to Architectural Digest, including an assortment of jewels and stones that grace the entryway of the apartment, dark red African wood floors, and textured carpets and fabrics. In 2007, Ross grabbed a Palm Beach mansion known as “The Reef” at 702 North County Road for $32M, according to New York Social Diary.
Alex Spanos, Los Angeles Chargers
Alex Spanos, who purchased a controlling stake in the soon-to-be Los Angeles Chargers in 1984, boasts a $2.4B net worth. After much back and forth, the Chargers recently decided to join the Rams in Los Angeles. The two teams have signed a lease to split revenue from Inglewood Stadium.
Spanos started building his empire in 1951 when he took out an $800k loan to start a catering company. Using those profits, Spanos turned to the real estate industry, eventually founding A.G. Spanos Cos — a multifamily development company that is one of the largest in the country. Spanos is known for building lavish apartments and gated communities in the central valley areas of Northern California. Spanos, now 93, passed his real estate empire to his sons Dean and Michael in 2005.