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The Denver Broncos have entered into a sale agreement with the Walton-Penner family’s ownership group, the parties announced Tuesday night.
The terms of the agreement, which will transfer the franchise from the Pat Bowlen Trust to the group led by Walmart heir Rob Walton, were not announced. But a source told ESPN, confirming several reports, that the agreed price is $ 4.65 billion, a record for a North American team.
The NFL Finance Committee and league owners must approve the sale. Twenty-four yes votes from owners are required for approval.
“Today marks an important step on the road to an exciting new chapter in Broncos history,” team president and CEO Joe Ellis said in a statement.
Learn more about [the Walton-Penner family’s] 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. “
The ownership group includes Rob Walton’s daughter, Carrie Walton Penner, and her husband, Greg Penner.
Walton said in a statement, “We are thrilled to be selected to move forward with the acquisition of the Denver Broncos! Carrie, Greg and I are inspired by the opportunity to manage this amazing organization in a vibrant community full of opportunities and passionate fans.
“After living and working in Colorado, we have always admired the Broncos. Our enthusiasm has only grown as we have learned more about the team, the staff and the Broncos Country over the past few months,” he added.
Walton said Mellody Hobson, co-CEO of Ariel Investments and chairman of Starbucks, has agreed to join the ownership group.
Hobson is black. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has made minority ownership a focal point of the league.
“Mellody currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Starbucks Corporation and is also the CEO of JPMorgan Chase. We know she will bring her strategic insight and leadership perspective to our team,” Walton said.
“We look forward to winning the trust and support of the NFL as we take the next step in this process. Once the necessary approval procedures are met, our family is happy to share more with Broncos fans, the organization, and the community.”
The Pat Bowlen Trust has run the franchise for several years and last year put the club up for sale after Bowlen’s children could not agree on a successor to their father.
Bowlen died in 2019, a month back from his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.