Court ruling moves Broncos closer to a sale

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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 is no longer valid or enforceable in any respect.”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.

27 responses to “Court ruling moves Broncos closer to a sale

  1. “So, please come interview to be our new head coach. Oh, by the way, all of us may be fired at any moment.”

  2. By not allowing apathetic family members to hold on to the franchise for generations the Broncos stand a chance at future success. The contrary are teams that allow families who don’t know much about running a franchise and care more about cashing checks to run a team into the ground for decades.

  3. Let me see if I have a few billions of spare change in my old coat pockets so I can make an offer

  4. Credit to Pat Bowlen for having the wherewithal to set up the trustee structure. Shows you how smart his kids are – can’t set aside differences to agree unanimously on one child to be the controlling owner, so now the team gets sold. Buh-bye, multi-billion dollar family cash cow.

  5. The NFL will give the franchise to whatever investment group is headed up by Peyton Manning, with Peyton being the Managing General Partner. I’ve been watching all this Manning family exposure, and I’ve been wondering what they’re up to. A run for president? Possible. Owning a team. Possible. But there’s a reason, and maybe we’re about to find out.

  6. So the new owner can fire everyone. Including Team President. New head coach will be a lame duck coach loll. They should have kept Vic Fangio. Let him get thru the sale. And give the franchise some stability smh

  7. When will the 1st owner be someone who owns a casino???or a legalized betting internet co? …it’s only a matter of time now.

  8. If the Mannings are working on some kind of deal to be ownership partner, Elway better pack his bags. Can’t see those 2 egos coexisting.

  9. charliecharger says:
    January 11, 2022 at 8:45 pm
    The NFL will give the franchise to whatever investment group is headed up by Peyton Manning, with Peyton being the Managing General Partner. I’ve been watching all this Manning family exposure, and I’ve been wondering what they’re up to. A run for president? Possible. Owning a team. Possible. But there’s a reason, and maybe we’re about to find out.

    =========================================================================

    This.

    Peyton has been rumored to want to buy into a franchise ever since he retired, and assuming the Bowlen heirs don’t gum up the sale of the team with endless litigation, this would be a good place for him (unless he is biding his time until Gayle Benson dies and the Saints franchise hits the open market – that would be the most logical place for him to participate in owning a team.

  10. Having a Manning ownership would be equivalent to the Georgia Frontiere ownership of the Cardinals. Down the rubes from here.

  11. Current value today is estimated at $4.125 Billion. Mr. B financed himself from here to Mars in 1984 to be able to buy the Broncos for $71m from Edgar Kaiser. The Kaiser Estate for Right of First Refusal never held any water, and today Judge Gilman easily made confirmation of that nonsensical claim. $71M > $4B is one hell of a return on a capital investment folks. Bowlen was a gambler and also responsible for negotiating some pretty incredible and never before seen TV contracts for the NFL. Sadly today, we realize his estate advisor/attorney was way over their head.

    In 35 years under his leadership, he earned SEVEN Super Bowl appearances, winning three. Not bad for a trailblazing Canadian trying to make a name for himself in the USA. That’s a Super Bowl appearance EVERY 1/5 years folks under his guidance. Not too shabby… To date, only the Patriots have earned more SB appearances. Mr. B fostered a winning organization unlike any other. He took marketing advantage as the only NFL team in an entire time zone to develop an incredible fan base. Mr. B also personally selected and developed his leadership teams to assemble some pretty good rosters over the years while always having himself just under the cap (contrary to false and unproven claims).

    As a ticket holder since 1977, (scored these when old Mile High expanded the upper deck (521/18/1&2)) I truly appreciate where the Broncos have been, but remain uncertain as to where they are going. My best hope today is that Jeff Bezos and confidant Peyton Manning put together a good offer with Manning and company managing the operations as his old pal Bezos collects on the return. Second realistic theory is that Sir Richard Branson and John Elway (longtime invested pals) submit a reasonable offer with Elway as head of operations. I’m sure local billionaire Kronke would sacrifice his Rams, Nuggies, Avalanche and Mammoth for his ultimate prize of the Broncos if he could.

    This drama in the Rocky Mountain Empire is not welcome. Hopeful that Broncos Country can soon return to glory.

  12. So now because a bunch of spoiled and entitled rich children can’t agree on sharing ownership, they are going to be forced to sell the team their father worked all his life to own. Probably for the best, and as a result they’ll get even richer, but I bet their dad is rolling over in his grave.

  13. jonathankrobinson424 says:
    January 11, 2022 at 9:07 pm
    When will the 1st owner be someone who owns a casino???or a legalized betting internet co? …it’s only a matter of time now.
    ——————————————————————————————-
    Actually the Rooney family owned the Steelers and owned horse racing and dog racing tracks in New York and Florida for decades. The NFL finally made them separate the businesses in 2008 so that now part of the family owns the Steelers and others in the family own the gambling tracks. I know it is a bit of apples to oranges comparison since there wasn’t betting on football involved but you are right, it is only a matter of time.

  14. Joe The Bartender says:

    Having a Manning ownership would be equivalent to the Georgia Frontiere ownership of the Cardinals.

    Except she owned the RAMS, not the Cardinals.

    donkeykickinurface says:

    He took marketing advantage as the only NFL team in an entire time zone to develop an incredible fan base.

    While the fan base IS incredible, the Cardinals also reside in the same time zone

  15. YouEnjoyMyself says:
    January 11, 2022 at 7:18 pm
    By not allowing apathetic family members to hold on to the franchise for generations the Broncos stand a chance at future success. The contrary are teams that allow families who don’t know much about running a franchise and care more about cashing checks to run a team into the ground for decades.
    ——————————————————-
    Amen to this!

    And why on earth would the NFL allow an estate to repurchase a team after they sold it decades ago? They want stability – they don’t want NFL teams to become a means for making a quick buck.

  16. jonathankrobinson424 says:
    January 11, 2022 at 9:07 pm
    When will the 1st owner be someone who owns a casino???
    ___________

    The original USFL tried that. Of course, that guy bankrupted his casinos along with multiple other businesses.

  17. jonathankrobinson424 says:
    January 11, 2022 at 9:07 pm
    When will the 1st owner be someone who owns a casino???or a legalized betting internet co? …it’s only a matter of time now.
    ——————————————————————————————-
    Actually the Rooney family owned the Steelers and owned horse racing and dog racing tracks in New York and Florida for decades. The NFL finally made them separate the businesses in 2008 so that now part of the family owns the Steelers and others in the family own the gambling tracks. I know it is a bit of apples to oranges comparison since there wasn’t betting on football involved but you are right, it is only a matter of time.
    ——————————–
    Same situation with the Bidwills. Older brother Stormy took the racetracks leaving younger brother Bill with a crummy little NFL franchise on the south side of Chicago. Looks like Bill and his descendants got the better end of that deal.

  18. I went through the cars, truck, house, and all the furniture and i still come up a few billion bucks short to buy the broncos. Dang it.

  19. Rob Lytle’s fumble vs the Raiders in the 1977 AFC championship, and Rich karlis’ missed field goal vs the Browns in 1987 that was ruled good…two of the worst calls in NFL officiating history. Broncos have had a charmed franchise, two of their 8 Super Bowls should never have happened.

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