The Denver Broncos’ Rob Walton era is officially underway.
The NFL owners unanimously approved the Broncos’ $4.65 billion purchase by an ownership group led by the Walmart heir at a special meeting held in a Twin Cities suburb on Tuesday.
“This is a group that is going to be great for the Denver community,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told reporters after the vote.
Joe Ellis, who has served as the Broncos’ president and CEO for a dozen years, announced after the vote that he was stepping down from his front office roles. The team said in a news release that Ellis will be an advisor to the team’s new owners.
“I am forever thankful to our dedicated staff, the players and coaches for making this franchise what it has become today-one of the best organizations in all of sports,” Ellis said in a statement. “There are no words to express the gratitude I have toward Pat Bowlen for his trust, friendship and the responsibility to serve the Broncos and this community for nearly three decades.”
Carrie Walton Penner, her husband, Greg Penner, investor Mellody Hobson, former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and seven-time Formula 1 champ Lewis Hamilton are now part owners of the Broncos.
The purchase price was a record for a North American sports franchise.