Denver Broncos announce they’re up for sale, ending 38 years of ownership by Bowlen family

Pat Bowlen was 40 years old when be purchased the Denver Broncos for $78 million in March of 1984. Under Bowlen, the Broncos won three Super Bowls, seven AFC championships, 13 AFC West titles and had 21 winning seasons. Upon Bowlen’s death in 2019, a trust named in his honor continued to own the franchise through the 2021 season. 

On Tuesday, the Pat Bowlen Trust announced the beginning of the sale process for the Broncos. The sale marks the end of a 38-year run for the Bowlen family. In a statement posted on the team’s website, Broncos president and CEO Joe Ellis stated that the team has retained Steve Greenberg of Allen & Company as their financial advisor and Joe Leccese of Proskauer Rose LLP as our legal advisor for the transition of ownership.

Last August, Forbes magazine valued the Broncos at $3.75 billion, which means that the franchise may very well sell for north of $4 billion. 

“Selling an NFL team is a complex process involving numerous parties and league approval procedures,” Ellis said. “Nonetheless, the trustees hope to have the sale completed by the start of the 2022 NFL season. The Broncos are a special franchise that is part of the fabric of this region, and whoever emerges as the new owner will certainly understand what the team means to our great fans and this community.”

“With today beginning the Broncos’ transition to new ownership, our family is overwhelmed with gratitude for what this organization and community have meant to us,” the Bowlen family said in the statement. “There are truly no words to express our deep appreciation to all of Broncos Country for its unwavering support during the past four decades.

“We will forever cherish Pat’s leadership as a Hall of Fame Owner and CEO. … Nothing Pat accomplished would have been possible without the players, whom he loved dearly. Thank you to those who proudly wore the Broncos jersey over the years for your commitment to winning and serving our community. … Pat used to say the Broncos belonged to the fans and that ultimately this was their team. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for this incredible ride. It has been the honor of our lifetime.

“All of us know that the impact of ‘Mr. B’ will live on with the Broncos and in the hearts, minds and memories of the fans.” 

The team recently made headlines when they hired Nathaniel Hackett as their next head coach. Hackett served as the Broncos’ offensive coordinator over the past three seasons. One of Hackett’s first tasks will be determining who will be his starting quarterback for the 2022 season. While one option could be former Packers‘ quarterback Aaron Rodgers, two of our four CBS Sports NFL Draft experts have the Broncos selecting former Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral with the ninth overall pick in the draft. 

Quarterback play has been an ongoing issue for the Broncos following Peyton Manning’s retirement after the 2015 season. Denver has not made it back to the postseason after Manning helped the Broncos defeat the Panthers in Super Bowl 50. 

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