Report: Broncos Interviewing Bankers Ahead of Possible Sale, Ownership Change

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVDecember 2, 2021

DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 28: A Denver Broncos helmet sits on the sideline during the NFL game between the Los Angeles Chargers and the Denver Broncos on November 28, 2021, at Empower Field at Mile High in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Denver Broncos are reportedly making preparations for the potential sale of the franchise.

According to Scott Soshnick and Eben Novy-Williams of Yahoo Sports, the team interviewed multiple bankers last month in a sign that steps are being taken toward a change in ownership.

The Broncos are currently owned by the estate of Pro Football Hall of Famer Pat Bowlen, who was the team's principal owner from 1984 until his death from Alzheimer's disease in 2019.

Joe Ellis, who is the Broncos' CEO and team president, has handled the day-to-day operations of the team since 2014 after Bowlen's diagnosis.

Soshnick and Novy-Williams noted that Bowlen's seven children have disagreed regarding which of them should have the controlling stake of the team or whether it should be sold since his death.

Each of Bowlen's children reportedly own 11 percent of the team, but Bowlen did not declare which of them would be the controlling owner prior to his death.

The Broncos were among the most successful franchises in NFL history under Bowlen, as they reached the Super Bowl seven times, winning on three occasions.

Much of the success came courtesy of Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway, who took the team to five Super Bowls, while fellow Hall of Famer Peyton Manning was largely responsible for the two latest Super Bowl berths, including Denver's Super Bowl 50 win at the conclusion of the 2015 season.

If and when the Broncos are sold, they will become the first NFL franchise to be sold since the Carolina Panthers in 2018.

David Tepper purchased the Panthers from Jerry Richardson for $2.275 billion, which stands as an NFL record. The Broncos would almost certainly surpass that price, however.

In September, Sportico's Kurt Badenhausen listed the Broncos as the 11th-most valuable team in the NFL at $3.8 billion.