NFL finance group backs sale of Broncos to Walmart heir

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — NFL owners will decide Aug. 9 whether to approve the proposed $4.65 billion sale of the Denver Broncos to the Waltons, heirs to the Walmart fortune and America’s richest family.

The league’s finance committee met Wednesday and unanimously recommended approval of the transaction.

The committee will send a report to all clubs at a special league meeting on August 9. Twenty-four of the 32 teams are needed to approve the sale of the famous Pat Bowlen Trust franchise to Rob Walton; his daughter, Carrie Walton Penner; and her husband, Greg Penner.

Commissioner Roger Goodell has made minority ownership a point of emphasis in the league. The Walton-Penner group fulfilled these wishes by including Starbucks board chair Mellody Hobson and former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, both black women.

The deal is the most expensive for a sports franchise in the world, surpassing the $3.1 billion sale earlier this year of Chelsea, one of European soccer’s blue-ribbon teams, to a U.S.-led consortium led by Los Angeles Dodgers owner Todd Boehly.

Walton, 77, served as chairman of Walmart from 1992 to 2015. He is the eldest son of founder Sam Walton and Helen Walton and has an estimated net worth of nearly $60 billion. He would become by far the richest owner in the NFL if the sale goes through as expected.

The Pat Bowlen Trust has managed the franchise for several years and put the club up for sale last year after the sons of Hall of Famer Pat Bowlen could not agree on a successor for their father.

Bowlen, who bought the team in 1984, died in 2019, a month before his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.


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