The Broncos soon will have a new coach. They then will likely have a new quarterback. And, along the way, they quite possibly end up with a new owner.
The process of selling the franchise became somewhat less complicated on Tuesday when a Denver judge ruled that no right of first refusal applies to any potential sale of the franchise. Via the Denver Post, Judge Shelly I. Gilman concluded that “the right of first refusal . . . between Edgar F. Kaiser, Jr. and Patrick D. Bowlen . . . is no longer valid or enforceable in any respect.”
Kaiser sold the team to Bowlen in 1984. Kaiser’s estate argued that a right of first refusal from the original sales contract still applies, meaning that Kaiser’s estate would have had the ability to match any offer to buy the Broncos — and ostensibly re-sell the team for a higher price.
Said Broncos president Joe Ellis in a statement issued to PFT: “We’re glad to put this issue behind us and move closer to transitioning ownership of the Denver Broncos. While our focus at this time is on our head coaching search, we plan to make an announcement regarding ownership shortly after that hire is completed.”
Added Broncos attorney Dan Reilly: “We are very pleased with the Court’s order today terminating any right of first refusal. The Trustees will continue moving forward with the ownership transition process.”
In other words, the Broncos are going to be sold. And while Kaiser’s estate ostensibly has appeal rights, there’s no real concern that this will go any farther.
And it sounds like, after the Broncos hire a coach, the “announcement regarding ownership” will be that the team is currently for sale.