The Broncos now have the richest owner in the NFL, and it’s not close
The Denver Broncos have entered into a purchase and sale agreement to acquire the team with the Walton-Penner family, the team announced Tuesday night.
Walmart heir Rob Walton will be the lead owner of the club taking control from the Pat Bowlen Trust. The sale will total $4.65 billion per 9News and 104.3 The Fan’s Broncos Insider Mike Klis. It is the most expensive sale of an American sports franchise ever, and double the price of the last NFL team sold—Carolina.
Bowlen bought the Broncos in 1984 for $70 million.
Depending on who you ask, Walton has a net worth of around $60 billion, making him the wealthiest owner in the National Football League. Walton’s worth tops the now second most prosperous owner, David Tepper, who owns the Panthers and is worth $16.7 billion, and the Ram’s Stan Kroenke, worth $10.7 billion.
Walton is a relative of Kroenke by marriage. The 77-year-old, Walton, has never owned a sports franchise. Gregg Penner, is Walton’s son-in-law and the chairman of Walmart.
Broncos CEO Joe Ellis wrote a statement on Tuesday:
“I have enjoyed getting to know Rob Walton, Carrie Walton Penner and Greg Penner throughout this process. Learning more about their background and vision for the Denver Broncos, I am confident that their leadership and support will help this team achieve great things on and off the field. I sincerely appreciate the cooperation of our football leadership, executive team and staffs at both UCHealth Training Center and Empower Field at Mile High over the last few months and years. We also want to recognize the work of Allen & Company and Proskauer Rose, which have quided us through this process in a timely and efficient manner. While this purchase and sale agreement is pending approval from the NFL’s finance committee and league ownership, today marks a significant step on the path to an exciting new chapter in Broncos history.”
Walton also released a statement, and detailed who is involved in the ownership group including Mellody Hobson, who was the first black woman to be the chairperson of an S&P 500 company.
“We are thrilled to be selected to move forward with the purchase of the Denver Broncos! Carrie, Greg and I are inspired by the opportunity to steward this great organization in a vibrant community full of opportunity and passionate fans. Having lived and worked in Colorado, we’ve always admired the Broncos. Our enthusiasm has only grown as we’ve learned more about the team, staff and Broncos Country over the last few months. We are excited to announce that Mellody Hobson, Co-CEO of Ariel Investments, has agreed to join our ownership group Beyond her role at Ariel, Mellody is an influential leader in corporate and civic organizations across the nation. Mellody currentlv serves as Chair of the Board of Starbucks Corporation and is also a director of JPMorgan Chase. We know she will bring her strategic acumen and leadership perspective to our team. Thank vou to Joe Ellis and the staff of the Broncos for the first-class manner in which they have conducted this sale process. In addition, we thank Hogan Lovells for their quidance and support in this effort. We look forward to earning the confidence and support of the NFL as we take the next step in this process. When the necessary approval procedures are met, our family is excited to share more with Broncos fans, the organization and the community.”
The Broncos sale will have to be approved by other NFL owners.