Rob Walton‘s ownership group placed the top bid to acquire the Broncos. While Walton’s son-in-law and daughter — Greg Penner and Carrie Walton Penner — are expected to run the day-to-day operations, others are part of the ownership group that placed the $4.65 billion bid.
The group added a big name recently. The Broncos announced Monday former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice is now part of Walton’s ownership group. Rice is a University of Denver alum, receiving two degrees from the university after spending part of her childhood in the city.
“We’re pleased to welcome former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to our ownership group. A highly respected public servant, accomplished academic and corporate leader, Secretary Rice is well known as a passionate and knowledgeable football fan who has worked to make the sport stronger and better,” the Walton-Penner group said in a statement. “Her unique experience and extraordinary judgment will be a great benefit to our group and the Broncos organization.”
Rice, 67, is a former member of the College Football Playoff committee and was once linked to the Browns’ HC position. The latter connection was quickly dismissed by Rice, a known Browns fan, but she has been involved in the game for a bit. Rice joins Starbucks chairwoman Mellody Hobson as prominent members of Walton’s ownership group. Peyton Manning has also been connected to a role with Walton’s group. The former Broncos quarterback spoke with all four ownership groups who became finalists to acquire the franchise about a role with his former team.
“It is an honor to be part of this ownership group. Football has been an integral part of my life since the moment it was introduced to me, and I am thrilled to be a part of the Broncos organization,” Rice said, via 9News’ Mike Klis (Twitter links). “I spent much of my younger years in Denver so to be able to combine my love of the game with my love for this great city and team is an adventure of a lifetime and a great opportunity.”
Walton’s group is in the process of taking over the Broncos. A vote among the league’s 31 other owners approving the sale is expected to take place in August.