Report says Broncos owner is down to two frontrunners, team source disputes
The Denver Broncos might be close to finding a new owner.
According to longtime Denver media member Woody Paige, the Broncos have narrowed their options to two frontrunners. Paige is reporting those are Wal-Mart heir Rob Walton, as well as Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils owner Josh Harris. Harris would be joined by partners including Magic Johnson, as Sportico reported earlier today.
Paige originally reported Walton and Harris were the only two “finalists,” but has since changed that to “frontrunners.” He now says five candidates are still involved.
Broncos and sources tell me other sources wrong and there will be a second round of bidding and five potential owners who will be visiting Broncos before next bids by the end of May. Walton and Harris groups front runners, as I wrote.
— Woody Paige (@woodypaige) May 5, 2022
Paige is reporting that Harris and his advisors were at Broncos Headquarters on Thursday, touring the team facilities and meeting with outgoing CEO Joe Ellis and other top officials. He says Walton is scheduled to be in for a visit next week.
Walton is an heir to the Wal-Mart fortune and worth nearly $70 billion. He’s the 11th richest person in the United States and would immediately become the wealthiest NFL owner if he acquired the team. His cousin, Ann, is married to Stan Kroenke, who owns the Los Angeles Rams and of course the Colorado Avalanche, Denver Nuggets, Colorado Rapids and other sports teams. Harris has a net worth of about $7.5 billion.
Paige has several other interesting notes in his article:
• Walton is the favorite because he can outbid Harris, has a close connection to Kroenke and would likely build a new stadium to rival Kroenke’s in Los Angeles
• Both Peyton Manning and John Elway would like to be part of whoever wins the bid and join the ownership group
• Harris has put together an extremely impressive group of folks who have purchased other sports teams who would be partners (like Johnson)
However, according to a Broncos source, the process is not down to two finalists. The team is hosting multiple candidates, as the current step is still in the early stages. That is similar to what Paige tweeted above, changing his original reporting.
Paige says the Broncos are expected to fetch between $4 billion and $4.5 billion, as Sportico previously reported. A new owner likely wouldn’t take control until late in the summer or right before the regular season begins.