How did you get to the point of selling the franchise? What’s next for the Denver Broncos? Here are the answers to those questions and more.
ENGLEWOOD — On a sunny day in July 2014, just as the Denver Broncos were getting ready to open their third training camp with quarterback Peyton Manningthe then president of the team, Joe Ellismade an announcement that led to the franchise being put up for sale.
Ellis reported that the majority owner of the Broncos, Pat Bowlenhe would no longer be a part of the team’s operations due to Alzheimer’s disease. Bowlen had been a charismatic presence within the club complex throughout a successful three-decade tenure that included more trips to the Super Bowl than losing seasons.
“It is a day of tremendous sadness for the family Bowlenall of our employees, the people around the National Football Leagueand this region and community,” he said at the time Ellis. “Pat you want to do two things. He wants to win, he always has and will continue to do so. He has also always wanted everyone here to do things the right way.”
Much has happened in the eight years since that announcement. After the death of Bowlen in 2019, there have been legal battles within the family over ownership of the franchise. The equipment was officially put up for sale on February 1, and by Tuesday night, broncos announced that they reached a purchase agreement with the group Walton-Penner by $4.65 billion, the largest transaction in North American sports history.
Sources confirmed this week that the group led by the heir to Walmart, Rob Walton; a group led by the owner of the Philadelphia 76ers Y New Jersey Devils, Josh Harris; a group led by mat ishbia; and a group led by Joseph Feliciano Y Behdad Eghbaliwere invited to a second round of bidding with a deadline of 5 pm ET last Monday.
How did we get to this point and what’s next? Here are the answers:
Why were the Broncos for sale?
Bowlen he never declared a successor to his majority interest among his sons, and when he walked away from day-to-day operations, his interest in the team (estimated at 78 percent, at the time), was placed in a trust operated by Ellis; the consultant of the Broncos, Rich Slivka; and the lawyer of Denver, Mary Kelly.
At one point in 2015, the trustees sent Annabelle –the widow of Bowlen— and to the children a formal plan of what it would take to become a majority owner. That plan included an advanced degree and five years of senior management experience with a team from the NFLor at the league offices. Bowlen’s hope was that one of them would emerge as the main owner and was installed at the head of the team by the trustees. If an agreement cannot be reached as to which son would remain as majority owner, then the club would be put up for sale.
the desire of Beth Bowlen Wallaceone of the daughters of Bowlen from her first marriage, to become the controlling owner was rejected by the trustees. brittany bowlenone of the daughters of Bowlen product of her marriage to Annabellehad the public support of Ellisand enjoyed a management position with the broncos. But, the seven sons had to agree on the selection of the trustees as principal owner, and once selected, the remaining six could not transfer their respective interests in the club.
The result was a lawsuit filed by Beth Bowlen Wallace Y Amie Klemmer –the two eldest daughters of Bowlen— claiming that the trust was invalid because, according to the legal action, Bowlen he did not understand what he was signing due to the progression of his condition.
The suit was thrown out in 2021 before the trial began, amid reports that a settlement may have been struck out of court. Neither side has commented since.
When were the Broncos officially put up for sale?
In January, a final legal hurdle to the sale was cleared when a judge from Denver determined that the heirs of the previous owner of the Broncos, Edgar Kaiser Jr.they could not acquire any part of the franchise as part of a deal for the right of the point.
A consortium, representing the heritage of Kaiserasked the court to recognize a right of both for the sale of the franchise dating back to when Kaiser sold the team to Pat Bowlen in 1984. Kaiser he died in 2012.
The Denver District Judge Shelley I. Gilmandetermined that the heirs of Kaiser had no valid claim, and that the right to the point included in the 1984 transfer of the franchise between Kaiser Y Bowlen“was no longer valid or enforceable in any respect”.
The franchise was officially put up for sale on February 1.
In the fall of 2021, Forbes valued the broncos at 3,750 million dollars; however, the broncos far exceeded that price with a sale for the amount of $4.65 billion announced Tuesday. The Carolina Panthers held the record for the highest amount paid by a franchise NFLpreviously. David Tepper bought the team for $2.275 million in 2018.
The most previously paid for a North American sports franchise was the $2.475 million who disbursed Steve Cohen to acquire the New York Mets in 2020.
Last month, a group led by Todd Boehleywho owns a stake in Los Angeles Dodgers Y Los Angeles Lakers Among its extensive portfolio, it acquired at Chelsea of the English Premier League for more than 5,000 million dollars.
Bowlen and his brothers paid $78 million in 1984 for a controlling interest in the broncos. Bowlen he later bought the shares of his sister and two brothers.
A second round of formal bids for the broncos it was placed on Monday, and multiple sources said they believe four groups were involved.
The winning bid was Walton-Penner Group –headed by the heir to Walmart, Rob Waltonhis daughter, Carrie Walton Pennerand her daughter’s husband, Greg Penner— which also included Melody Hobsonco-CEO of Ariel Investments as well as head of the directory of Starbucks Corp.. and director at J.P. Morgan Chase.
The estimated fortune of Waltonaccording to Forbes of about 59,000 million dollars, made him the favorite. Stan Croenkewho owns Los Angeles Ramsas well as three of the other professional sports teams in Denver —Colorado Avalanche, Denver Nuggets and Colorado Rapids— and a regional media chain in Coloradois married to Ann Waltonalso heir to Walmart.
The trustees were bound by the original trust documents to accept the highest offer. The NFL informed interested parties that all bids must be fully funded or “capitalized” at the time of submission.
Trustees and league officials met with potential buyers. They gave a tour of the team complex, as well as Empower Field at Mile Highand have been informed of the team’s place in the community and in the region.
Ellis previously said a new owner who is “visible” inside and outside the team was important to trustees.
“Today marks a significant step on the way to an exciting new chapter in the history of the broncos“, he stated Ellis in a statement following the announcement of the sale.
The head coach of the Broncos, Nathaniel Hackettsaid earlier in the week that he had met a “solid number” of potential buyers, adding: “After talking to everyone, I think they all have an incredible passion and want to be a part of this league and want to be a part of a team. I think it’s a really beautiful thing. They want to come here to win, and they want to do something great here.”
What is needed to close the operation?
Now that the offer Walton-Penner has been selected, the sale agreement is now subject to review by the financial committee of the NFLand then must be approved by the vote of the owners of the NFL. Twenty-four owners must vote in the affirmative for the sale to be approved.
A special meeting could be called this summer, or the vote could be computed at one of the previously scheduled owners’ meetings after the start of the regular season. NFL.
It is expected to take 60 to 90 days for the sale to be approved and the deal closed; no mishaps are expected, a source told Adam Schefter of ESPN.
We wish to thank the writer of this write-up for this amazing material
Everything you need to know about the Denver Broncos record sale