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Former US Secretary of State Rice joins NFL Broncos owners

Former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has joined the ownership group of the NFL’s Denver Broncos, the club announced on Monday.

Rice, who served as Secretary of State from 2005-2009 under President George W. Bush, was on the 13-member panel that selects teams for the collegiate American football playoff between 2013-2016.

She joins the Walton-Penner family ownership group that made a deal to buy the Broncos last month for $4.65 billion, the largest price ever paid to purchase a North American sports team.

“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,” Rob Walton said in a statement.

“Her unique experience and extraordinary judgment will be a great benefit to our group and the Broncos organization.”

Rice moved with her family to Denver at age 12 and attended the University of Denver.

“It’s an honor to be part of this ownership group,” Rice said in a posting on her Facebook page.

“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.

“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.”

In 2012, Rice was one of the first two women to be admitted as members at Augusta National Golf Club, home of the Masters, along with financier Darla Moore.

NFL owners are reviewing the deal and must vote to approve the sale, with 24 of 32 teams needing to support the move to complete the purchase.

The Broncos won their third Super Bowl title to cap the 2015 season but have missed the playoffs in each of the past six campaigns, going 7-10 last year.

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