The Denver Broncos kicked off training camp with a media BBQ and press conference on Tuesday. That presser opened up with Broncos President & CEO Joe Ellis on hand and he really clarified the ownership transition options for the franchise heading into 2022.
“Our goal is a timely, responsible and orderly determination of ownership,” Ellis said. “What that will entail for us—there’s some things that we still need to work through—but our goal is to be able to lay out, when the season is over, and Vic has promised that will be in the middle of February, that we lay out for everybody a timeline to a transition of ownership that will take place next year prior to the start of the season. That’s important. It’s important to the organization. It’s important to the beneficiaries—Pat [Bowlen]’s children—to get it resolved and we’re moving forward on that. The team is not for sale. There are a few options out there as to what we can do. You’re probably aware of those. We’re going to get through this season. Our goal is to focus on that, have a good year and hopefully be competitive and be around for the postseason tournament once that begins. That’s where our focus is. Until the season’s over, you’re not going to hear a whole lot about the future of ownership of the team.”
Ellis went on to affirm that his role with the team will be ending in 2022 and that the ownership situation will be concluded.
“Ownership will be concluded. We’ll have a transition. Yours truly won’t be the controlling owner by sometime in the spring or early summer. I can’t put an exact deadline on it, but believe me, we need to get it resolved.”
The question from there is how exactly will the ownership be concluded. The first option Ellis mentioned is the one I think is least likely to occur given how the Bowlen children have already engaged in a legal battle over the trust itself. That option would be a transition over to Brittany Bowlen as the controlling owner of the franchise.
“She’s working hard and adding a lot of value in a lot of different areas. I’m conversing with her all the time. We have weekly meetings. In some form, her being able to run the team is a consideration, for sure. It will require some conditions from beneficiaries and others, perhaps. If she is going to run it, that conclusion will be made sometime next year as well. That’s one of the options, for sure. As I said, there are certain conditions that come with that. I’m not going to comment too much on those because those involve discussions with other beneficiaries and those are private in my view.”
The key point from Ellis’ comments here is that Brittany would have to meet some conditions with her siblings over how her controlling stake in the team is setup. Essentially one of the main conditions there is that all of the Bowlen children would have to agree to keep the team in the family and have Brittany run it. Given the legal battle, I would be surprised if any agreement here would occur.
The more likely outcome is the second option - selling the team.
“Well, the sale of the team is always possible, obviously. That’s one. If it’s going to stay in the family, Brittany is really the other option. There are certain, as I said, conditions that will go with that. They could come in various forms. There might be one or two other options within that option, if that makes sense.”
As much as it pains me to see a final end to the Pat Bowlen era, a sale would probably be the best outcome for all parties. The Bowlen children would receiving an insane amount of money and a new owner would likely infuse new blood into a franchise struggling to return to championship form.
This is an evolving situation, but that is where I think things are for the Broncos come next year. What do you think the ultimate outcome will be?
What do you think will happen with the Broncos ownership situation?
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Brittany Bowlen takes over
Team is sold to new owner