HomePREMIER LEAGUEArsenal Owner Stan Kroenke Remains in a $5bn Stand-off with FIFA Over...

Arsenal Owner Stan Kroenke Remains in a $5bn Stand-off with FIFA Over a Major Stadium Issue

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Arsenal Owner Stan Kroenke Remains in a $5bn Stand-off with FIFA Over a Major Stadium Issue

Kroenke, a 76-year-old billionaire, possesses the $4.5 billion SoFi Stadium, which was originally slated to be one of the 16 venues for the 2026 World Cup. The tournament will be hosted across the United States, Canada, and Mexico, following their joint bid. However, Kroenke is considering withdrawing the 70,000-seat stadium because the matches scheduled to be played there do not meet the criteria of being of “significant heft.”

SoFi Stadium, which serves as the home for NFL teams the Los Angeles Rams and the Los Angeles Chargers, was initially considered one of the top contenders to host the final of the tournament. However, Kroenke now has reservations about hosting group stage and early knockout stage matches there, as he believes it may result in financial losses. He seeks reassurances from FIFA that his stadium will be selected to host the most prestigious matches of the event.

The stadium has a history of hosting major events, including Super Bowl LVI, the College Football Play-Off Championship, and the CONCACAF Gold Cup final between Mexico and Panama earlier this year. Nevertheless, it is believed that the costs involved in modifying the stadium for the World Cup may outweigh the benefits, leading to Kroenke’s reluctance to proceed.

According to ESPN’s John Sutcliffe, Kroenke is likely to withdraw from the deal due to the lack of economic viability. He noted that design issues, such as the absence of plans for a soccer field and the need to remove certain boxes, may be contributing to Kroenke’s decision.

The SoFi Stadium is located in Inglewood, California, as part of the Hollywood Park entertainment complex. FIFA officials are set to tour the venue and its surroundings this week to discuss tournament plans. However, neither FIFA nor the Los Angeles World Cup host committee has commented on their discussions at the venue.

Kroenke also raises concerns about the time zone, as a World Cup final held on the West Coast of the USA would have a significant time difference with the rest of the world. This could create scheduling challenges for global audiences. As a result, Kroenke believes that the East Coast would be a more suitable location for the World Cup final, given its closer alignment with the time zones of the majority of viewers.

Arsenal Owner Stan Kroenke Remains in a $5bn Stand-off with FIFA Over a Major Stadium Issue

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