The upcoming Denver Broncos sale is going to set a record for the most money ever spent to buy a professional sports team. Depending on who buys the NFL team, the final purchase price might not be the only investment made into the club.
Rob Walton, the Walmart heir, is widely viewed as the favorite to win the bidding war. He is the preferred choice among NFL owners and his estimated $70 billion net worth also allows him to make the highest offer. With stipulations in NFL rules and in the will of former owner Pat Bowlen also working in Walton’s favor, he could take over as owner before the winter.
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Once a sale is approved, another deal could be on the horizon. As noted by Russell Hathorn of Denver 7, Broncos’ President Joe Ellis said that a new stadium is the “No 1 decision the new owner will have to make.”
While Empower Field at Mile High has gone through several name changes, it’s not one of the oldest NFL stadiums. It opened in August 2001, costing $400 million to build with $30 million in upgrades done in 2012. However, a new owner might want to create one of the best stadiums in the NFL.
As reported by Front Office Sports, a new Broncos stadium would likely cost at least $2 billion. There would also be a push for a retractable roof, allowing Denver to become a future host site for a Super Bowl.
This is another factor that plays into Walton’s favor. Even after purchasing the Broncos, he’d have more than enough money to help with funds for a new stadium. While Denver taxpayers paid for a significant portion of the construction costs for the current building, things could change under Walton.
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Stan Kroenke, the cousin by marriage to Walton, privately funded the $5 billion cost for SoFi Stadium. It’s very possible Walton could do the same in Denver, seeing the advantages of profiting off a state-of-the-art stadium that hosts NFL games, the Super Bowl and much more.
When all is said and done, assuming Walton buys the Broncos, it might cost him at least $6 billion. Fortunately for him, that would only account for a small percentage of his net worth and it will make him even wealthier in the future and he’d still easily be the richest owner in sports.