From Broncos to Avalanche, let the Walmart family sports feud in Denver begin. Everybody wins!

From Broncos to Avalanche, let the Walmart family sports feud in Denver begin. Everybody wins!

Four scant victories from getting his hands on the Stanley Cup, Avalanche owner Stan Kroenke flashed a smile worth a million bucks. But by plunking down a cool $4.65 billion, Rob Walton trumped Kroenke, grabbing the really big prize in Denver sports.

Game on!

Let a friendly Walmart family feud begin. Let’s keep score in championship trophies.

The richest family in the USA now is the royal family of sports in our dusty old cowtown. It’s Rob vs. Stan, two hale and ambitious septuagenarians in a hurry to make big scores and leave huge marks while they still can.

As the son of Sam Walton, Rob was born into the Walmart empire. As the son-in-law of Bud Walton, Stan married into a family that has made billions by selling everything from tube socks to beer-flavored jelly beans.

But if you know anything about the Walton family’s work ethic, both Rob and Stan worked hard for their money. So let’s spread out the blanket at the Walmart family picnic at the foot of the Rocky Mountains and engage in some healthy one-upmanship between billionaires.

After the Avalanche staged a jaw-dropping comeback to beat Edmonton 6-5 in overtime and advance to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 2001, a delighted team owner stuck out his right hand to warmly greet me outside the Colorado dressing room, then happily offered to help write my column.

“On a rainy night in Canada,” Kroenke declared late Monday, as he walked out of the arena, “it didn’t look good for the Avalanche. Then, everything changed…”

Well, a few ticks shy of 24 hours later, on a Tuesday night in Colorado, everything changed for the Broncos. A new era of NFL football began, ending the clumsy errors and ugly bickering among heirs of the late Pat Bowlen.

Walton, as well as his daughter and son-in-law, shattered the record for the most expensive purchase of a US sports franchise, agreeing to buy the crown jewel of Denver sports for $4.65 billion.

In a statement, Rob declared his family was inspired “to steward this great organization in a vibrant community full of opportunity and passionate fans. Having lived and worked in Colorado, we’ve always admired the Broncos.”