Walton-Penner Family Ownership Group officially buys Denver Broncos for $4.65 billion

A general view of a Denver Broncos helmet during the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium.
Dec 15, 2019; Kansas City, MO, USA; A general view of a Denver Broncos helmet during the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos are officially off the market, after the Walton-Penner Family Ownership Group — led by former Walmart chairman Robert Walton — purchased the team for $4.65 billion.

That price sets a record as the most expensive sale ever of any sports franchise ever. In just May of this year, the record was previously set when the United Kingdom-based Chelsea Football Club of the Premier League was sold for $3.13 billion.

The Broncos didn’t just break the record, they broke it by 48.6%, which is astonishing.

“I have enjoyed getting to know Rob Walton, Carrie Walton Penner and Greg Penner throughout this process,” Broncos CEO and president Joe Ellis said in an official statement via the team. “Learning more about their background and vision for the Denver Broncos, I am confident that their leadership and support will help this team achieve great things on and off the field.

“I sincerely appreciate the cooperation of our football leadership, executive team and staffs at both UCHealth Training Center and Empower Field at Mile High over the last few months and years. We also want to recognize the work of Allen & Company and Proskauer Rose, which have guided us through this process in a timely and efficient manner.

“While this purchase and sale agreement is pending approval from the NFL’s finance committee and league ownership, today marks a significant step on the path to an exciting new chapter in Broncos history.”

While Ellis is technically correct that the sale is still pending approval, it would be fairly surprising if the NFL’s other owners or finance committee took issue with Walton.

“We are thrilled to be selected to move forward with the purchase of the Denver Broncos! Carrie, Greg and I are inspired by the opportunity to steward this great organization in a vibrant community full of opportunity and passionate fans,” prospective new owner Rob Walton said in an official statement representing the ownership group. “Having lived and worked in Colorado, we’ve always admired the Broncos. Our enthusiasm has only grown as we’ve learned more about the team, staff and Broncos Country over the last few months.”

The Walton-Penner Family Ownership Group also announced that Mellody Hobson, Co-CEO of Ariel Investments and Chair of the Board of Starbucks Corporation will be joining their bid to buy the franchise.

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