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Denver Broncos agree to record sale to Walton-Penner family

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Jun 8, 2022
Illustration of the Denver Broncos logo holding a “Sold” sign in its mouth.

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The Denver Broncos have agreed on a sale to the Walton-Penner family, the team announced Tuesday.

Why it matters: The sale is a U.S. sports franchise record at $4.65 billion, 9News in Denver and ESPN report.

  • "The previous record sales price among U.S. sports franchises was the Carolina Panthers for $2.275 billion in 2018. Four years later, Broncos went for $4.65 billion. More than double. Incredible," 9News reporter Mike Klis tweeted.

Details: Walmart heir Rob Walton will be the Broncos' controlling owner. His son-in-law Greg Penner and daughter Carrie Walton-Penner are expected to be the team's day-to-day bosses, Klis reports.

  • Ariel Investments co-CEO Mellody Hobson is joining the ownership group, Walton said in a statement. She serves as chair of Starbucks' board and as a director of JPMorgan Chase.
  • The deal is still pending approval from the NFL's finance committee and league ownership, Broncos president and CEO Joe Ellis said. The closing of the deal could take 60 to 90 days, but no issues are expected, a source told ESPN.

What they're saying: "The Broncos have been one of the NFL's most successful franchises in the Super Bowl era, with three Super Bowl wins in Pat Bowlen's ownership tenure, and they now have an ownership group with some of the deepest pockets," ESPN's Jeff Legwold writes.

  • "The future owners will decide whether to build a new stadium," Axios Denver reporter John Frank writes. "Ellis called a new stadium 'issue No. 1 on the next owner's plate' earlier this year, saying it must be considered 'right away' and significant upgrades to Empower Field at Mile High are needed."
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