The sale of the Denver Broncos will take another step forward next week, with the second round of bids due by Monday, and it appears a number of bidders are eager to become the next owner of the franchise.
The Broncos are expected to receive several bids worth more than $4.5 billion, according to Sports Business Journal's Ben Fischer, who adds that "things could move quickly" after that.
The news comes after ProFootballTalk's Mike Florio reported last month that the Broncos were expected to be sold for at least $5 billion. If that happens, it would break the NFL record for the sale of a franchise, which was set by David Tepper when he bought the Carolina Panthers for $2.275 billion in 2018.
The Broncos also have the potential to set the world record for a sports franchise purchase. Todd Boehly, who is a part-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, was part of a group that purchased Premier League side Chelsea FC last month for $5.22 billion.
Boehly was initially interested in purchasing the Broncos, but it's unclear if he's still in the running for the franchise. According to Mike Klis of 9News.com, there are four groups remaining in the bidding process for the Broncos.
The four groups are headlined by former Walmart chairman Rob Walton, Philadelphia 76ers owner Josh Harris, CEO of Michigan-based mortgage lender United Wholesale Mortgage Mat Ishbia and Clearlake Capital Group founder Jose Feliciano.
The Broncos are valued at $3.75 billion, which ranks 10th in the NFL, according to Forbes. The Bowlen family purchased the franchise for $78 million in 1984, and it was put up for sale in February following years of legal disputes.
The Broncos have won three Super Bowls under the Bowlen family's ownership. However, the team hasn't made the playoffs since the 2015 season, meaning the new owner will be looked upon to help put the franchise back on the right path.
The Broncos already acquired Russell Wilson from the Seattle Seahawks this offseason, so they're certainly in a better position than they have been in recent years.
The sale of the Broncos is set to finish up before the 2022 season.