Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice joins Walton’s Denver Broncos ownership group

Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has joined the incoming ownership group for the Denver Broncos, which is being led by Rob Walton, the eldest son of Walmart founders Sam and Helen Walton.

The ownership group also includes Rob Walton’s daughter, Carrie Walton Penner, and her husband, Greg Penner. Mellody Hobson, co-CEO of Ariel Investments and chairwoman of Starbucks, is also part of the group.

Walton and his partners last month won the bidding to purchase the team for $4.65 billion. It’s the most expensive deal for a sports franchise anywhere in the world, surpassing a $3.1 billion sale in May of the Chelsea soccer team to a group led by Los Angeles Dodgers part-owner Todd Boehly.

“We’re pleased to welcome former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to our ownership group,” Walton said in a news release. “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.”

Rice moved to Denver with her family in 1967 and received her undergraduate degree and Ph.D. from the University of Denver.

In 2013, Rice was one of 13 members of the inaugural NCAA College Football Playoff Committee, and served on the independent Commission on College Basketball in 2018.

The group’s purchase of the team is currently under review by the National Football League and must be approved by at least 24 of the league’s team owners to become official. A vote is expected in the coming weeks.