NFL finance committee unanimously recommends league owners approve Denver Broncos sale to group headed by Rob Walton

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The record-setting $4.65 billion sale of the Denver Broncos to a group led by Walmart heir Rob Walton cleared one of its final hurdles Wednesday.

The league’s finance committee reviewed the sale agreement and unanimously recommended the Walton-Penner group — which also includes Walton’s daughter, Carrie Walton Penner, and her husband, Greg Penner — be formally approved by the league owners when they meet in Minneapolis on Aug. 9. It will require at least 24 “yes” votes for approval.

“The Finance Committee met today to review details of the proposed Denver transaction,” NFL vice president of communications Brian McCarthy said in a statement. “The committee unanimously recommended the transaction for membership approval. The committee will make a report to all 32 clubs at the special league meeting on August 9. At that time, the sale of the club will be voted upon by the full membership.”

The Walton-Penner group also includes Mellody Hobson, co-CEO of Ariel Investments, chair of the board of the Starbucks Corp. and a director at JP Morgan Chase, and former United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. The $4.65 billion price tag is the highest paid for a North American sports franchise.

The Broncos have been one of the NFL’s most successful franchises in the Super Bowl era, with three Super Bowl wins in Pat Bowlen’s ownership tenure, and they now have an ownership group with the league’s deepest pockets. The Carolina Panthers had held the…

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