Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to clarify remarks made by Broncos team president Joe Ellis.
The Denver Broncos aren’t for sale right now, but the NFL team should have a new owner this time next year, whether that’s Brittany Bowlen or Jeff Bezos or someone else is still unclear.
That’s according to team president Joe Ellis, who said last week there will be “a transition” of ownership come 2022 — to whom and, possibly, for how much remains to be seen.
Uncertainty had loomed over the team’s future after former owner Pat Bowlen surrendered control of the team to a trust in 2014. The trust was to choose a successor among his seven children or sell the team.
That plan was stalled by a lawsuit brought by two of Bowlen’s daughters, Amie Bowlen Klemmer and Beth Bowlen Wallace. They claimed that the trustees improperly influenced Bowlen, who was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Bowlen passed away in 2019.
A Colorado judge dismissed the lawsuit in July, clearing the path for a sale of the team.
Four NFL teams have been sold in the last decade, with the price increasing each time:
- 2012: Shad Khan bought the Jacksonville Jaguars for $770 million.
- 2012: Jimmy and Dee Haslam acquired the Cleveland Browns for $1 billion.
- 2014: Kim and Terry Pegula purchased the Buffalo Bills for $1.4 billion.
- 2018: David Tepper bought the Carolina Panthers for $2.75 billion.
Forbes valued the Broncos at $3.2 billion last year.
As for buyers, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is known to be interested in buying an NFL team, while former Broncos’ quarterback Peyton Manning has expressed interest in being part of an ownership group.
Some of Bowlen’s seven children are interested in inheriting the team and could join the bidding.