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Rob Walton will win the bid to buy the Denver Broncos for $4.5 billion

Andrew Buller-Russ
NFL: Denver Broncos-Training Camp
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos will be sold for an estimated $4.5 billion to former Walmart chairman Rob Walton. The Walton family member has emerged with the winning bid. The Pat Bowlen family trust is expected to make an official announcement as soon as this month.

It is the largest amount anyone has ever spent for a professional sports team, but that’s the cost of doing business in 2022. The last NFL team to be sold was the Carolina Panthers in 2018 by David Tepper for $2.275 billion.

All second-round bids for the Broncos were due today, June 6, so this extra clarity could be the result of those offers. Though it should be noted, the Pat D. Bowlen Trust must go with the highest bidder, which places Walton in the driver’s seat.

Who is Rob Walton?

Syndication: Times Record News
CHRISTOPHER WALKER/TIMES RECORD NEWS / USA TODAY NETWORK

Rob Walton is most famously known for being the Walmart chairman from 1992 to 2015, which has helped him become a billionaire over the years. In March of 2022, Walton was estimated to have a net worth of $62 billion by Bloomberg. So this reported figure of around $4.5 billion is just a drop in the ocean for Walton.

Walton will come in well ahead of his peers when it comes to total net worth in comparison to other NFL franchise owners.

As the Broncos usher in a new era with a new quarterback in Russell Wilson, now it appears they have their ownership situation starting to settle in too. It’s also being reported by Mike Klis that Walton has spoken with Peyton Manning about joining his ownership group either as an advisor or a minority partner.

Related: Richest NFL owners in 2022: Jerry Jones, Robert Kraft trail Seattle Seahawks’ Jody Allen

Walmart billionaire beat out 76ers owner

Walton was also said to be competing with billionaire businessman Josh Harris, who had NBA Hall of Famer Magic Johnson as part of his group of bidders. Harris is the co-founder of Apollo Global Management and the managing partner for the Philadelphia 76ers in the NBA in addition to owning the New Jersey Devils NHL team.

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There was also the Jose Feliciano group. Feliciano, who is the co-founder of Clearlake Capital, is a Puerto Rican native leading another group of investors who were aiming to buy the Broncos.

Brothers Mat and Justin Ishbia were also said to be finalists. Mat, who played college basketball at Michigan State from 1998 to 2002, now is the president and CEO of UnitedHoldings, which is a mortgage company their father started in the 1980s.

Related: Denver Broncos schedule: Russell Wilson to face Seahawks Week 1