Economic records in the world of sport have an expiration date that is getting shorter and shorter. The amounts that are moved in transfers or transactions are constantly becoming more massive. This causes that what yesterday was a huge investment today is considered a bargain. Todd Boehly made Chelsea the most expensive sports club in history at the end of May. Roman Abramovich was forced to put it up for sale due to the sanctions on Russian tycoons derived from the war in Ukraine, and the American businessman deposited 2.5 billion euros to take the club’s shares (accompanied by another two billion destined for investments in the equipment). That record will lose its validity just over two months later, after the sale of the Denver Broncos for 4.65 billion dollars (4.54 billion euros).
The National Football League (NFL) franchise had been up for sale for six months. Its previous owner was Patrick Dennis Bowlen, better known as Pat Bowlen, a member of the American Football Hall of Fame since 2019. He took over the reins of the club in 1984 and led it to three wins in seven appearances in the Super Bowl, in addition to other minor achievements. Since his death, at the age of 75 in 2019, the Pat Bowlen Trust group inherited the franchise, but his children did not agree on who would succeed his father and chose to put the team’s shares in the market.
In this way, the Walton-Penner consortium, led by Gregg Pener, Carrie Walton Penner and Rob Walton and with Lewis Hamilton as a minority shareholder, will be the first new owner of the Denver Broncos in 38 years and will make the franchise the most expensive of sports history. Although they had an agreement with the club since the beginning of June, they needed the votes in favor of 24 of the other 31 teams in the NFL. At a hotel meeting Tuesday, all league owners ratified the purchase. According to The Washington Post“the applause could be heard in the meeting room since before the final approval”.
Putting a winning team on the field is our number one priority.
The goal of the new owners is clear: “Putting a winning team on the field is our number one priority,” said Rob Walton, according to Forbes one of the 20 richest men on the planet. “We can’t wait to get to Denver, join our new teammates and get to work,” he said excitedly. These months of uncertainty in the offices of the franchise have not been a distraction for the players and the technical team, according to the coach, Nathaniel Hackett, in statements collected by The Denver Post: “I was brought here to do a job, which is to prepare this team to compete and qualify for the playoffs. That has been my priority. As far as the owners go, I’m excited to meet them soon.”
His daughter and stepson are accompanying Walton on this project, who is “committed to winning, but above all else committed to making sure the Broncos are an important part of the Denver community.” According to the father, the family already had conversations about the possibility of buying the franchise a decade ago, and that was always the only option they considered, which speaks to the relationship that binds them to the team. “It seems like a genuine interest, not just a business,” said Judy Battista, an NFL reporter. The club’s winning story took a turn for the worse in this period, and the Broncos have not made the playoffs for six straight years since their 2015 Super Bowl triumph.