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Denver Broncos Pick Walton-Penner Family in Auction to Sell Team


That restriction is unlikely to limit Rob Walton, Greg Penner and their families. Walton, 77, is the oldest child of Helen and Sam Walton, the co-founder of Walmart. Rob Walton was chairman of Walmart from 1992 to 2015. His cousin is Ann Walton, the niece of Sam Walton and the wife of E. Stanley Kroenke, who owns the Los Angeles Rams of the N.F.L., the Denver Nuggets of the N.B.A., the Colorado Avalanche of the N.H.L. and Arsenal F.C. within the Premier League, amongst other teams.

Penner married Rob Walton’s daughter, Carrie, and has been Walmart’s chairman since 2015.

The Walton-Penner bid, if approved, would end nearly 4 many years of ownership by the Bowlen family. The Broncos joined the A.F.L. in 1960 and were dismal on the sector for his or her first decade and a half, though they were popular with fans within the Rocky Mountain states. But after Bowlen bought the club in 1984, the Broncos had 21 winning seasons, 13 division titles, nine conference championship berths and 7 Super Bowl appearances.

His memory failing, Bowlen stepped away from running the team in 2014, and left several trustees, including Ellis, to oversee the franchise. The trustees were tasked with deciding which of his children should develop into the controlling owner — or whether the franchise must be sold, in the event that they believed that was within the family’s best interest.

Beth Bowlen, Bowlen’s second daughter from his first marriage, worked on the club and was interested becoming the principal owner. But she left the team several years ago.

Brittany Bowlen, a daughter from Bowlen’s second marriage, was being tabbed as a possible substitute. All seven Bowlen children couldn’t reach an agreement on who should take charge, so the team was put up for auction.

Now it’s one other family, this time with even deeper pockets, that’s more likely to take over.

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