The sale of the Denver Broncos for $4.65 billion to Walmart heir Rob Walton, his daughter and son-in-law was unanimously approved Tuesday by NFL team owners.
The vote was taken at a Minnesota hotel attended by Walton, her daughter Carrie Walton Penner and her husband Greg Penner, who were introduced to the other owners by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
Walton is the eldest son of Walmart store founder Sam Walton and has a personal fortune estimated at $60 billion. He is henceforth the richest owner in the league.
Walton’s group paid the largest sum ever paid for a sports team. It has three minority partners: Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton, Starbucks chairwoman Mellody Hobson and former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice. All three are black, which satisfies the NFL’s efforts to promote diversity at all levels of the league.
The team was put up for sale after differences arose between the heirs of its former owner Pat Bowlen, who died in 2019.
The first big decision the new owners will have to make is whether or not to re-sign quarterback Russell Wilson, who joined the team in March from Seattle. It is speculated that he could ask for 260 million dollars for five years.
Another pressing issue is the stadium. While Empower Field at Mile High was built only 21 years ago, it doesn’t measure up or make as much money as more modern stadiums.