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Friday, July 19, 2024
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$4.6B Sale One of Many Changes Ahead for Broncos

  • An ownership group led by Walmart heir Rob Walton entered into a sales agreement to purchase the Broncos Tuesday night.
  • A new stadium to replace Empower Field at Mile High is expected to be considered after NFL approves the sale.
Broncos Walton
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Walmart heir Rob Walton won’t officially take over as the majority owner of the Denver Broncos until he wins approval from the NFL in the coming weeks. 

But in the aftermath of Tuesday night’s announcement that his group agreed to purchase the team for $4.65 billion — more than twice the amount paid for the Carolina Panthers in 2018 — the direction of the Broncos’ new regime is coming into focus. 

The team sale is one of many significant changes in Denver.

Broncos President & CEO Joe Ellis intends to retire after the Walton group is approved by the NFL Finance Committee and then by 75% of NFL ownership. A vote will likely take place before the start of the season. 

The Broncos acquired quarterback Russell Wilson from Seattle and will enter the 2022 season with a new head coach in former Green Bay Packers coordinator Nathaniel Hackett.

  • Walton’s son-in-law Greg Penner and daughter Carrie Walton-Penner are expected to run the day-to-day operations. The couple will also be co-owners. 
  • Investment executive and Starbucks board member Mellody Hobson, who is Black, will become one of the few non-white co-owners in the league. 
  • Ellis said in April a new stadium to replace 21-year-old Empower Field at Mile High will “be the No. 1 decision the new owner will have to make.”

Could the Broncos Have Sold for More?

Four groups submitted second-round bids by Monday’s deadline, including from Philadelphia 76ers co-owner Josh Harris. ProFootballTalk reported that Harris would have paid $5 billion, but was not given assurance that Walton wouldn’t match.

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