Who can afford to buy the Denver Broncos?

Denver Broncos

Denver Broncos quarterback Drew Lock (3) throws a pass against the Tennessee Titans during the first half of an NFL football game, Monday, Sept.. 14, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/Justin Edmonds)

DENVER (KDVR) — The future ownership of the Denver Broncos’ organization may be in question after a lawsuit filed by two of Pat Bowlen’s children against the trust he put in charge before his death was dismissed.

At the moment all this means is that the trust is responsible for the team’s future, but it indicates both sides may have reached a deal to sell the team or transfer ownership to one of Bowlen’s children. Bowlen’s eldest two daughters, Beth Bowlen Wallace and Amie Klemmer, were suing the three-person trust he designated in 2009, saying that he was pressured into creating it. Control of the team was transferred to the trust in 2012 and Bowlen died in 2019.

In 2002, Forbes valued the Denver Broncos were at $3.2 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. That means that for someone to own a majority of the team, 51%, they would need to plunk down $1.61 billion. Only a handful of Coloradans have that much money. The annual Forbes billionaire’s list has nine Coloradans on it for 2021.

Investor Phillip Anschutz, Colorado’s richest man, was valued at $10.1 billion in 2020.

  • Charles Ergen, co-founder and chairman of Dish Network and EchoStar, $9.6 billion
  • John Malone, former CEO of Tele-Communications, $7.8 billion
  • Mark Stevens, Silicon Valley venture capitalist, net worth: $3.7 billion
  • Pat Stryker, Stryker Corp. and founder of the Bohemian Foundation, $3 billion
  • James Leprino, Leprino Foods chairman, $3 billion
  • Kenneth Tuchman, TTEC, $2.8 billion
  • The Coors family, estimated $5.4 billion

A list of more well-known Colorado sons and daughters, however, doesn’t quite have the same buying power. Trey Parker and Matt Stone, creators of animated comedy South Park, are valued at $600 million and $700 million, respectively. John Elway only has $145 million. Peyton Manning has $250 million, and while that may not be enough to buy the Broncos outright, he has expressed some interest in ownership.

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