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The Denver Broncos are reportedly set for a change in ownership soon.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, NFL owners are expected to approve the $4.65 billion sale of the franchise to the Walton-Penner group, which is led by Walmart heir Rob Walton. The deal sets a new record for highest price paid for a sports franchise.
Per Ryan O’Halloran of the Denver Post, Broncos President and CEO Joe Ellis is expected to present the Walton-Penner ownership group to the other 31 NFL teams during a special league meeting in Minneapolis. The group reportedly also includes Greg Penner and Carrie Walton-Penner, plus limited partners Mellody Hobson, Condoleezza Rice and Lewis Hamilton.
A “yes” vote is needed from at least 24 teams in order to finalize the record-setting sale.
The deal marks the first change in ownership for the Broncos in 38 years. Patrick D. Bowlen owned the team since 1984 before his death in 2019. The franchise remained in his family as part of a trust in which his seven children and his brother John were the beneficiaries. The sale of the team to the Walton-Penner group was originally approved in June.
While the team’s ownership has been in flux, the Broncos have not let it distract them as they prepare for their first preseason game Saturday against the Dallas Cowboys.
“I was brought here to do a job and get this team ready to compete and get into the playoffs and I’m really focused on that,” Denver head coach Nathaniel Hackett said after practice Monday. “That’s been my priority, this team and getting them ready to rock and roll. When it comes to ownership, I’m so excited to meet them and get to know them.”