All you need to know about Denver Broncos’ sale — The bidders and the price tag, as well as what’s next

ENGLEWOOD COLO. — In July 2014, it was a sunny day. Denver Broncos They will open their third training camp together with quarterback Peyton ManningJoe Ellis, then the team president, announced that the franchise would be up for sale.

Ellis announced that Pat Bowlen, Broncos majority shareholder, was unable to participate in the team's operations because of Alzheimer's disease. Bowlen was a charismatic presence in the team's compound during a three-decade period of great success, which included more Super Bowl trips and less losing seasons.

Ellis said that “it's a day full of great sadness for the Bowlens, all of our employees and the people of the National Football League and this region, as well as this community.” “Pat wants us do two things. He wants us all to win. This is something he has always desired and will continue to desire. He's also always desired that everyone do things right.

Eight years have passed since the July announcement. There were legal disputes within Bowlen's family about ownership after his death in 2019. The team was officially put up for sale on Feb. 1 Tuesday night the Broncos announced they entered a sale agreement with the Walton-Penner group for $4.65 billionThe largest ever North American sports team sale.

Sources confirmed that Rob Walton, the Walmart heir, was leading this group. Philadelphia 76ers New Jersey Devils Josh Harris, Mat Ishbia's group and Jose Feliciano's and Behdad Elgbali's groups were invited to participate in the second round. Bidding closed at 5 p.m. ET Monday.

What's the next step? These are the answers.

Why did the Broncos go on sale?

Bowlen never named a successor for his majority ownership among his kids, and his interest in team operations (estimated at about 78% at that time) was placed in trust by Ellis, Rich Slivka, Broncos attorney, and Mary Kelly.

The trustees gave Annabel, Bowlen's widow, and the children in 2015 a formal outline of the requirements to become principal owners. This outline required an advanced degree, five years' experience in senior management with an NFL team or league. Bowlen hoped one of them would be chosen to become principal owner and be appointed by the team trustees. The team would be sold if there was no agreement on which child would become the principal owner.

The trustees rebuffed Beth Bowlen Wallace's request to be the controlling owner, as she was one of Bowlen’s first-married daughters. Brittany Bowlen (one of Bowlen's children after his marriage with Annabel) was granted Ellis' public support as well as a management role with the Broncos. However, all seven children had the right to vote on the selection of a principal shareholder by the trustees. Once the winner was chosen, the six remaining owners could not sell their stakes in the team.

A lawsuit was filed by Beth Bowlen Wallace & Amie Klemmer, Bowlen's oldest daughters. It claimed that the trust was invalid because Bowlen didn't understand what he was signing because of the progression of his Alzheimer’s disease.

The lawsuit was dismissed 2021 before a trial was due to begin. There were reports that an agreement might have been reached behind-the scenes. Since then, neither side has commented.

When were they made available for purchase?

In January a final legal hurdle to a sale was cleared Denver judge ruled that the heirs to Edgar Kaiser Jr., former Broncos owner, could not purchase back any part of the franchise under a right-of-first refusal agreement.

Kaiser's estate was represented by a holdings group that petitioned the court for the right to refuse any sale of the franchise. This is back to 1984 when Kaiser sold the team and Pat Bowlen bought it. Kaiser died in 2012.

Denver District Judge Shelley I. Gilman ruled Kaiser’s heirs had not claim and the right to first refusal in the 1984 sale agreement between Kaiser and Bowlen was no longer valid or enforceable.

Officially, the franchise went up for sale on February 1.

The price

Forbes had valued the Broncos as $3.75 Billion in fall 2021; however, the Broncos far exceeded that figure with a $4.65 Billion sale announced Tuesday. The Carolina Panthers Before this, the record was held for the highest-paid NFL franchise. David Tepper bought the team in 2018 for $2.275 billion.

Steven Cohen purchased the North American franchise for $2.475 billion. New York Mets 2020

A group headed by Todd Boehly who is interested in the topic, met last month. Los Angeles Dodgers Los Angeles Lakers Among his extensive portfolio, he purchased Chelsea in England's Premier League for $5 billion.

Bowlen paid $78 million to his siblings in 1984 for a controlling interest in Broncos. Bowlen later bought the shares owned by his sister, and his two brothers.


Multiple sources claimed that four bidders were involved in Monday's second round of formal bidding for the Broncos.

The Walton-Penner group, which is headed by Rob Walton and his daughter Carrie Walton Penner, Walmart heir and Greg Penner, was awarded the winning bid. They will also include Mellody Holson, Mellody's co-CEO of Ariel Investments and chair of JP Morgan Chase's board.

Walton's net wealth, which Forbes estimates at over $59 billion, makes him a favourite. Stan Kroenke, the owner of The Los Angeles Rams Denver also has three professional sports, the Colorado Avalanche, Denver Nuggets Colorado Rapids — He is also married to Ann Walton (also a Walmart heir) and they run a Colorado regional media network.

Trust documents stipulated that trustees had to accept the largest verified bid. All bids must be fully funded or capitalized by the NFL, according to the NFL.

The prospective bidders met with trustees and team representatives. They visited the team's facilities and Empower Field at Mile High, and were briefed on their place in the community.

Ellis said that it was important for the trustees to have a new owner who is visible within and around the team.

Ellis stated that today was a significant milestone on the way to an exciting chapter in Broncos' history.

Nathaniel Hackett (Broncos) stated that he met “a solid quantity” of potential bidders earlier this week and said: “After talking with everybody, I think that all of them have an amazing passion for this league and want to become a part this team. It's something really special. They want to win, and they want something great to happen here.

What is the final step to closing the deal?

Now that Walton-Penner's bid has been chosen, the NFL's finance Committee will review the sale agreement and then it must be approved in full by all NFL owners. To approve the sale, twenty-four yes votes must be cast.

It is possible to call a special meeting later in the summer or vote at an owners meeting that was previously scheduled after the NFL's regular season.

The approval of the sale and closing of the deal is expected to take between 60-90 days, according to a source who spoke to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

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