Broncos ownership trial begins Wednesday

Denver Broncos

Broncos Stadium as seen with a drone in September 2018
(Photo: Christopher Mezzavilla)

DENVER (KDVR) — The Denver Broncos are going to court on Wednesday, addressing the largest question looming over the franchise, the future of team ownership.

The trial, which begins at 8:30 a.m. in the Second District Court in Denver, will address a Right of First Refusal claim from 2020.

The claim was brought by ROFR Holdings, which says it still had a right to match any buyer of the team.

ROFR Holdings was created by former Broncos owner Edward Kaiser, Jr., who died in 2012. He sold his partnership stake in the team to Pat Bowlen in 1984.

PDB Sports, the partnership that owns the Broncos franchise and Bowlen Sports, filed the lawsuit on May 20 against the holding company.

The Fennemore Denver Litigation team, representing PDB Sports, says Kaiser’s right of first refusal is no longer valid.

As of now, the team is not officially for sale, but ownership has been in limbo as Pat Bowlen’s heirs have been involved in several lawsuits about the team and its future.

CBS Sports says the Bronco’s could have new ownership as early as next year. The current sale price for the Denver team is estimated to be $4 billion.

In 2020, Forbes valued the Denver Broncos were at $3.75 billion, up from $1 billion just ten years ago.

If the Broncos sold for that entire 2020 valuation, it would be the highest-priced NFL sale yet as teams grow in valuation. The Carolina Panthers sold for $2.3 billion in 2018.

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