It’s yet to be determined who’ll end up winning the current struggle for ownership of the Denver Broncos, but experts believe the team could fetch the highest price ever for a pro sports franchise.
The three-time Super Bowl champions may attract offers of well over $2.5 billion, said sources. That would top three recent purchases:
- Joe Tsai paid a record $2.35 billion for the Brooklyn Nets in 2019.
- David Tepper purchased the Carolina Panthers for $2.28 billion in 2018.
- Tilman Fertitta bought the Houston Rockets for $2.2 billion in 2017.
At a valuation of $3.2 billion apiece, the Broncos are tied with the Boston Celtics for No. 25 on Forbes’ 2021 list of the world’s most valuable sports teams. Franchise value is up 65% over the last five years.
The price tag also narrows down the list of potential Broncos buyers, who range from Amazon’s Jeff Bezos (worth over $200 billion) to Peyton Manning (who earned $248.7 million in salary alone during his 18-year career).
As Denver’s favorite son, Manning could easily put together an investment consortium, said consultant Lee Berke, who’s advised more than 50 pro teams.
A lawsuit filed by late owner Pat Bowlen’s family against the trust controlling the team was just dismissed in court. That increases the possibility of an outside sale. Bowlen originally bought the Broncos for $78 million in 1984.