The Denver Broncos are for sale, and billionaires are lining up to bid. The NFL’s reported top pick, however, is still reluctant to enter the fray.
League commissioner Roger Goodell is reportedly leaning on Robert F. Smith, the wealthiest Black person in the U.S., to bid on the Broncos. Smith or another potential bidder, Byron Allen, would make history as the league’s first Black owner.
Smith hasn’t committed to pursuing the team, which is expected to fetch at least $4 billion.
Concurrently, the league is facing a lawsuit from former Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores alleging racial discrimination.
Several private equity executives are also eyeing a bid.
- Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils co-owner Josh Harris, co-founder of Apollo Global Management, is exploring a bid. Harris is also a minority owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers and would have to sell his stake to buy the Broncos.
- Clearlake Capital Group co-founders Behdad Eghbali, Jose Feliciano, and his wife Kwanza Jones are considering a bid.
- Pabst Brewing Company owner Dean Metropoulos, investor Alec Gores, and United Wholesale Mortgage CEO Mat Ishbia are reportedly exploring a bid, as well.
The Bezos Factor
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has looked into bidding on NFL teams in the past and could make a play. With $180.8 billion in net worth, Bezos could likely top any bid without forming an ownership group.
Former Broncos quarterbacks Peyton Manning and John Elway are also exploring bids as part of a larger group.