What looked like a matter of time is finally official: The Denver Broncos were put up for sale after 38 years of ownership by the Bowlen family.
Now, the franchise is expected to fetch a 'record-breaking number' of nearly $4 billion, according to Forbes and CBS Sports.
And, while there hasn't been any formal or public bid thus far, it's well known that both John Elway and Peyton Manning have expressed their interest in buying the team in the past. For that, any majority stakeholder will need to have at least $1.2 billion to own at least 30% of the franchise.
Broncos Expect The Process To Be Completed By The Start Of The 2022 Season
Broncos president and CEO Joe Ellis affirmed that, while the team is expected to go into a transition, that process shouldn't last long, as they're expecting to get a deal done before the start of next season:
Selling an NFL team is a complex process involving numerous parties and league approval procedures, Ellis said. Nonetheless, the trustees hope to have the sale completed by the start of the 2022 NFL season. The Broncos are a special franchise that is part of the fabric of this region, and whoever emerges as the new owner will certainly understand what the team means to our great fans and this community.
The Bowlen Family Thanks The Community
After nearly four decades of owning the team, the Bowlen family released a statement thanking the fans and the community for embracing them with open arms:
With today beginning the Broncos' transition to new ownership, our family is overwhelmed with gratitude for what this organization and community have meant to us, the Bowlen family said in a statement. There are truly no words to express our deep appreciation to all of Broncos Country for its unwavering support during the past four decades.
The Broncos Are Property Of The Fans, The Bowlens Say
Moreover, the Bowlens assured that, regardless of the ownership, the Broncos will forever be a team of and for the fans:
Pat used to say the Broncos belonged to the fans and that ultimately this was their team, the Bowlen family said in a statement. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for this incredible ride. It has been the honor of our lifetime. All of us know that the impact of 'Mr. B' will live on with the Broncos and in the hearts, minds and memories of the fans. We will always cheer for the Orange and Blue. Go Broncos!''
Nathaniel Hackett Is Unbothered By The Transition
Newly-appointed coach Nathaniel Hackett was aware of this possibility. But, when asked about a potential sale, he seemed unbothered and unfazed about the situation:
I think that was something we talked about, but in the end it's the Denver Broncos, this is the Denver Broncos, y'all ... to have the ability be the head football coach of the Denver Broncos is unbelievable,'' Hackett said in his press conference, per ESPN. This is awesome; in the end, hey, that's going to work itself out and every day. Regardless of who the owner is, I have to prove myself.''
Now, he'll have to put his money where his mouth is.