DENVER • The Broncos are expected to have a new owner soon, with the team being sold in principal to the Walton-Penner ownership group.
Walmart heir Rob Walton and Walmart Chairman Greg Penner have agreed to buy the team for $4.65 billion, the organization announced Tuesday. Now, they just need the approval of 24 other league owners to officially own the team. That's expected to happen in the coming days.
But until then, here are five things to know about the new ownership group:
1. Save Money. Live Better.
The Walton family is one of the richest in the world, with Walton's father, Sam, founding Walmart in 1962. According to Fortune.com, the Waltons are worth more than $200 billion. Rob Walton, who served as Walmart's chairman 1992-2015, is worth nearly $70 billion alone, making him the wealthiest owner in the NFL and second-wealthiest in American professional sports, behind only Steve Ballmer of the Los Angeles Clippers.
Rob Walton is the oldest of four children and cousin of Ann Walton Kroenke, who is married to Stan Kroenke, owner of the Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche, Colorado Rapids and Los Angeles Rams.
2. A Galaxy Far, Far Away
One successful businesswoman who has joined the ownership group is Mellody Hobson, who is president and co-CEO of Ariel Investments and the chairwoman of Starbucks Corp. She's also the wife of George Lucas, who created the "Star Wars" franchise. The two have been married since 2013.
She's sure to get along well with new Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett, who is such a big "Star Wars" fan that some of his plays are named after the movies.
3. A new home?
With a new owner in place, that might mean a new home, as well. Broncos President and CEO Joe Ellis recently said a renovated or new stadium would be atop the new owner's to-do list. The Walton family certainly has the money to build a new stadium if they want, and as many people have speculated they will do.
But where would the new stadium be located? It probably would be hard to build a new stadium downtown, with Denver International Airport and Commerce City being the two areas that have been most rumored.
4. The Sheriff might return
Peyton Manning could soon return to the Broncos in an executive or minority ownership role. Manning was contacted by all the bidders about potentially joining their groups, according to 9News. And it wouldn't be a surprise to see Manning join the Walton-Penner group, as many fans have wanted to see Manning back around the organization.
President of Football Operations John Elway also has expressed interest in being a part of the next ownership group, as he's expected to retire from his role before next season.
5. Record-breaking price
The $4.65 billion the team was purchased for is the highest in American professional sports history.
Here's a look at the most expensive franchises sold in recent years.
2022: Denver Broncos, $4.65 billion
2020: New York Mets, $2.4 billion
2019: Brooklyn Nets, $2.35 billion
2018: Carolina Panthers, $2.275 billion
2017: Houston Rockets, $2.2 billion