Jan 8, 2022; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos fans in the first quarter against the Kansas City Chiefs at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The 2022 season will truly one of change for the Denver Broncos. They have a new head coach in Nathaniel Hackett, a new quarterback in Russell Wilson, and now, a new ownership group.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the Broncos announced that the ownership group of former Walmart Chairman and heir to Walmart’s fortune Rob Walton, his daughter Carrie Walton Penner, and her husband Greg Penner have bought the team. Mike Klis of 9News in Denver added that the sale is worth $4.65 billion, which is a record for an American sports franchise.

While this news was expected, it brought a strong reaction from the NFL world.

Pat Bowlen bought the Broncos in 1984. He relinquished most of his control in 2014, due to the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. He remained the franchise’s principal owner until his death in 2019. Since then, the Broncos have been in a state of flux.

From the time Bowlen bought the team through the 2015 season, the Broncos were consistently one of the NFL’s best teams. In that span, Denver reached the playoffs 18 times, won the AFC West 13 times, reached seven Super Bowls, and won three championships.

But the Broncos have fallen short of the playoffs in each of the six subsequent seasons. The last five of those seasons have all yielded losing records. Denver’s fans are no doubt hoping that the new ownership, head coach, and quarterback will usher in a new era of success.

[Denver Broncos, Mike Klis]

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