Is a soccer arena a good place to see art? That’s if you’re at AT&T Stadium, thanks to the Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry jones, one of the many team owners around the world who are also active art collectors. Jones exhibits commissioned works by some of today’s best-known contemporary artists, including Doug Aitken, Anish Kapoor, Teresita Fernández and Jenny Holzer, including Truisms was adapted to appear on the 160-foot-wide Jumbotron. With an estimated net worth of $ 6.8 billion, Jones owns the mandatory $ 250 million super-yacht, as well as a personal art collection that includes works by Picasso, Renoir and Matisse.

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Other sports moguls have long been kept away from the public, such as the owner of the Coachella music festival Philippe Anschutz. The entertainment mogul has stakes in many LA sports teams; Owner of the LA Galaxy soccer team and part owner of the Los Angeles Kings hockey team, he recently sold his minority stake in the Lakers. One of the nation’s most reclusive billionaires, the octogenarian has an estimated net worth of $ 11.7 billion and a collection of some 600 art objects related to the American West, from Frederic Remington and Thomas Eakins to Charles Marion Russell and Georgia O’Keeffe.

Jim Irsay, owner of the Indianapolis Colts, has recently emerged as a giant in the world of pop culture memorabilia. In 2019, he paid Christie’s $ 4 million for the Black Strat that was once owned by Pink Floyd lead guitarist David Gilmour. Heir to a fortune in the heating and air conditioning industry and previously struggling with addiction, Irsay also purchased a foundation from Alcoholics Anonymous. manuscript dated 1939 auctioned in 2018 for $ 2.4 million.

Also in the game are owners of international sports teams. India’s richest woman, Nita Ambani, with a fortune of $ 20 billion, is a part-owner of the Indian Premier League Mumbai Indians cricket team and chairman of the company that owns it, Football Sports Development. In recent years, she has become a major player in the art world, creating the Reliance Foundation, named after her family’s oil and telecommunications conglomerate, to promote post-war Indian artists. Having supported the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York since 2016, she was named the museum’s first Indian Honorary Trustee in 2019.

And, of course, there are the NFTs, which only gained notoriety this year. In June, Sotheby’s hosted an NFT auction around the cult digital avatars known as “CryptoPunks”. The sale saw the price of one of the characters, that of Larva Labs CryptoPunk 7523 (2017), is $ 11.4 million. Israeli billionaire Shalom Meckenzie, a minority owner of sports betting operator DraftKings, placed the winning bid.

Indeed, some ARTnews The top 200 collectors own or have owned major sports teams. Among them are Steven A. Cohen (new owner of the New York Mets), John S. Middleton (Philadelphia Phillies), Steve tisch (Giants of New York), Hasso Plattner (Sharks of San José), David thomson (Winnipeg Jets), Romain Abramovich (Chelsea FC), Dmitry Rybolovlev (AS Monaco FC), Francois Pinault (Stade Rennais FC), Joe lewis (Tottenham Hotspur FC), and the late Paul Allen (Seattle Seahawks, Portland Trail Blazers, Seattle Sounders FC).

A version of this article appears in the October / November 2021 issue of ARTnews, under the title “In It to Win It”.