Bowlen family remains divided over succession plans.
In his annual end-of-season press conference on Dec. 23, Broncos CEO and President Joe Ellis expressed some concerning thoughts about the future of the Broncos. According to Ellis, unless the Bowlen family unanimously approves Brittany Bowlen-Kim as the team's controlling owner, the team could be on the auction block.
"[Selling] is an option, and we've told the beneficiaries that, because if Brittany were to succeed and take over for her father, everybody else is going to have to sign off on that, most likely,’’ Ellis said during the press conference “That may not be a requirement, but it's going to be necessary, I think, moving forward from a trustee viewpoint. That's why a sale remains a possibility, I think, given the circumstances we're in."
The team is valued at around $3 billion, and it could be a few years before a sale is on the table, but with the current family rift, it's possible the succession fight could last that long.
Pat Bowlen's oldest daughters, Amie Bowlen Klemmer and Beth Bowlen Wallace, are suing the team trustees, Ellis, team general counsel Rich Slivka, and Bowlen family attorney Mary Kelly, on the grounds that Bowlen was under diminished mental capacity when he revoked an earlier trust for one that was executed in 2009. Pat Bowlen passed away in June after a long battle with Alzheimer's.
As it stands, Beth Bowlen is seeking to succeed her father, though the trustees have made it clear they endorse Brittany Bowlen-Kim to become the controlling owner. Bowlen-Kim was named as the Broncos vice president of strategic initiatives in December in preparation to move up in the organization, and the trust has been pleased with her work.
“She has distinguished herself as the one child that we’re looking at to possibly take over her father’s role,’’ Ellis said. “There’s a lot that goes into that. There’s going to need to be some cooperation from everybody on the family for that to happen."
The trustees have controlled the team since 2013 and have the authority to put the team up for sale if the Bowlens can't agree on a successor.
"He's not here to speak to it, but I think he'd be disappointed by what he sees right now," Ellis said about Pat Bowlen.
Litigation is set to begin in September of 2020. You can listen to Ellis' full press conference below.
What do you think? Are the Broncos on the road to a sale or will the Bowlens pull together? Let us know in the comments below.