Court ruling clears way for Broncos sale; the team should have a new owner before the 2022 season

Despite counter-efforts from the estate of the late Edgar Kaiser Jr., who owned the Broncos from 1981 to 1984, the Denver franchise is now free to sell, with new ownership expected before the 2022 NFL season, as first reported by KUSA. Pat Bowlen, who bought the Broncos from Kaiser in 1984 and died in 2019, previously created a three-person trust to sell the team or identify an heir to one of his seven children after his death. Now, thanks to a decision by a Denver District Court judge on Tuesday, the trustees have been formally authorized to transfer ownership of the franchise.

Kaiser’s estate, according to The Athletic, claimed that a right of first refusal signed when Bowlen bought the team in 1984 – which gave Kaiser’s estate the right to match any offer if the Broncos were never offered for sale – was still valid. He was then seeking the right to buy back at least part of the team’s property. But Denver District Judge Shelley I. Gilman has sided with the Pat D. Bowlen Trust, including longtime team chairman Joe Ellis, removing the legal barrier to a potential sale. . Gilman specifically linked the disability to the fact that Kaiser and Bowlen have since died, per KUSA, with Kaiser having passed away in 2012 and Bowlen in 2019.

Ellis is expected to sort out the property situation after the Broncos hired a new head coach, having fired Vic Fangio after the 2021 season.

“We are happy to put this issue behind us and move closer to the Denver Broncos’ ownership transition,” Ellis said in a statement after the decision. “While we are currently focused on our search for Head Coaches, we plan to make an announcement regarding the ownership shortly after this hire ends. “

Ellis previously indicated that the situation would be resolved before the start of the 2022 season, KUSA reported. There has been controversy surrounding Bowlen’s potential successor as the primary owner of the Broncos since his death. One of Bowlen’s daughters, Beth Bowlen Wallace, said publicly in 2018 that she was qualified and ready to become a homeowner, per KUSA, but administrators refuted her claim and instead targeted Brittany Bowlen, one of the daughters. de Bowlen from his second marriage, as a potential heir. Ellis said over the summer that Brittany Bowlen would need the consent of her six siblings to take full ownership of it; each of the siblings currently controls around 11% of the team.

Beth Bowlen Wallace and fellow sister Amie Bowlen Klemmer responded with a complaint, KUSA reports, alleging their father was not mentally fit when he established his trust in three people while battling Alzheimer’s disease , and that it was subject to undue influence from the directors. The lawsuit was then dismissed in July.

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