DENVER (KDVR) — The ink is barely dry on the Denver Broncos’ new ownership sale, but many are already looking at the potential impacts. 

Rob Walton and the Walton-Penner Family Ownership Group are now the wealthiest in the NFL, and it isn’t even close. Marketing experts say that’s a win for Broncos fans and a win for Colorado taxpayers.

“There’s only a few hundred people in the world who could afford to buy the team,” said Darrin Duber-Smith, who teaches sports marketing at the Metropolitan State University of Denver. “The fact that the Broncos were able to find someone with the money to buy the team outright is a miracle.”

But it’s the Walton family’s connection to Denver that has Duber-Smith even more intrigued.
Rob Walton is a cousin of Stan Kroenke, whose wife Ann Walton Kroenke owns the Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche.

The plot of land between Ball Arena and Mile High? Elitch Gardens — owned by, you guessed it, the Kroenkes.

“If two areas join, you have the possibility for urban renewal on a level we’ve never seen in Colorado,” Duber-Smith said. “And we could be producing the largest single sports district anywhere.”

Duber-Smith said it’s also possible the Waltons build a new stadium outside of city limits, but he said the Kroenke connection is certainly something to keep an eye on.