NFL owners agree to sale of Broncos to Walmart heir Rob Walton

NATIONAL Football League (NFL) owners unanimously approved the sale of the Denver Broncos to an ownership group led by Rob Walton, whose father founded Walmart, Tuesday during league meetings in Bloomington, MN .

The Walton-Penner Ownership Group agreed to pay $4.65 billion – a record price for a sports franchise – to settle the purchase of the Bowlen family. The late Pat Bowlen and his heirs owned the team for 38 years.

Both parties agreed to the deal in June.

“We are grateful for the support and confidence of the National Football League and the other 31 teams with today’s vote. We couldn’t be more excited to join the Denver Broncos,” said said Walton in a press release Tuesday.

“It is a responsibility and a privilege to be stewards of such an iconic franchise. We have tremendous respect for what Pat Bowlen has meant to the Broncos and look forward to building on this organization’s championship legacy.

Forbes pegs 77-year-old Walton’s net worth at $65 billion, putting him 19the place on the publication’s list of billionaires. He is the richest owner in the NFL, with only Steve Ballmer of the Los Angeles Clippers worth more – $91.4 billion – among North American sports teams.

The previous record selling price for an NFL franchise was the $2.275 billion David Tepper paid for the Carolina Panthers in 2018.

Walton’s owning team also includes his daughter, Carrie, and her husband, Greg Penner, as well as notables such as former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton. The Penners are expected to lead day-to-day operations.

“Looking forward, I’m confident the Walton-Penner Family Ownership Group will add to the Broncos’ championship tradition on and off the field while putting its own mark on this great organization,” said President and CEO. longtime Broncos management Joe Ellis taking over. as the franchise changes hands. “They asked me to serve as the property advisor for this season, and I accepted their request to help with the transition as much as possible.”

Forbes valued the Broncos at $3.75 billion in 2021, ranking it 10th on the franchise valuation list.

Rob Walton now becomes the second NFL owner of the extended Walton family. Ann Walton Kroenke, who is the cousin of Rob Walton, is married to Stan Kroenke, owner of the Los Angeles Rams.

And they can have some kind of family reunion. The Kroenkes also own the Colorado Avalanche of the NHL and the Denver Nuggets of the NBA.

While the Waltons have roots in Arkansas, where Walmart was founded, the ownership group intends to make a difference in Colorado, Walton said.

“While we are deeply committed to building a great team to win the Super Bowl, our amazing family and partners are also dedicated to our off-court responsibilities in Broncos country and the Rockies region,” he said. declared. “Most importantly, we will strive to make the Denver Broncos the best team to cheer, play and work in all sports.” — Reuters

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