The Battle for the Broncos: A Duel between John Elway and Peyton Manning for Ownership

Ownership Stakes and Potential Buyers: A Turning Point for the Denver Broncos

Two iconic figures in Denver Broncos history, John Elway and Peyton Manning, have set their sights on obtaining an ownership stake in the team. While the Broncos are not officially up for sale, a recent court decision may pave the way for new ownership opportunities. In this article, we explore the details surrounding this potential ownership change, exploring the implications for the Broncos and the NFL.

The Family Trust and Heir Disputes

Back in 2004, Pat Bowlen, the former owner of the Denver Broncos, established a family trust to oversee the team’s operations. However, following Bowlen’s passing in 2019, his heirs found themselves embroiled in bitter conflicts over who would gain majority control over the franchise. While an outright sale of the team seemed like the most feasible solution, an obscure clause within the Broncos’ original sales contract complicated matters.

Right of First Refusal: A Hurdle to Overcome

In 1984, when Bowlen purchased the Broncos from Edgar Kaiser, the sales agreement included a right of first refusal clause. This clause stated that if Bowlen intended to sell the franchise, Kaiser would have the option to purchase it first. The Broncos could only be sold to a third party if Kaiser declined the opportunity. However, with Kaiser’s passing in 2012, his family argued that they had inherited the right of first refusal. The recent ruling from the Denver County District Court, however, deemed this argument invalid, revoking the right of first refusal.

Opening the Door for Elway and Manning

With the court’s decision, potential buyers have been eagerly awaiting their chance to step into the spotlight. According to reliable sources, there are at least six interested bidders vying for ownership of the Broncos. Notably, two former Broncos legends, John Elway and Peyton Manning, have emerged as prominent contenders, each leading competing investment groups in pursuit of a majority stake in the franchise.

Owning a professional sports team has evolved from being a family business into a venture that demands significant financial resources. The Broncos, with a valuation exceeding $4 billion, now stand as one of the most coveted assets within the professional sports domain. If either Elway or Manning successfully secures an ownership stake, it is highly likely that other investors will join them in this endeavor.

Coaching Decisions Precede Ownership Transition

Before any ownership changes or potential trades take place, the Denver Broncos are turning their attention to naming a new head coach. The franchise has recently garnered attention due to John Elway stepping down as the team’s general manager and the subsequent firing of head coach Vic Fangio. Although rumors surrounding a possible Aaron Rodgers trade have gained traction, the Broncos are prioritizing their coaching search.

Denver Broncos president and CEO, Joe Ellis, expressed his thoughts on the situation, stating, “We’re relieved to put this issue behind us and move closer to transitioning ownership of the Broncos. While our focus is currently on our head coaching search, we anticipate making an announcement regarding ownership shortly after completing this hire.”

The Bowlens, after enduring a prolonged period of uncertainty and tension, are unlikely to part ways with the team without a substantial return. Consequently, the coaching decision affords potential buyers some additional time to assess their options and make further adjustments to their bids.


In conclusion, the Denver Broncos find themselves on the cusp of a transformative ownership transition. With the revocation of the right of first refusal and the court’s ruling, the stage is set for individuals like John Elway and Peyton Manning to make their mark in a new capacity. The potential change in ownership has generated significant interest, with various investors vying for majority control of the franchise.

As the Broncos navigate their coaching search, the organization is poised for a fresh start. The impending ownership announcement promises to bring newfound stability and direction to the team. This chapter in the Broncos’ history marks a pivotal moment, and football fans across the nation eagerly await the unfolding of events.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What was the role of the family trust in the ownership dispute?

A: The family trust, established by Pat Bowlen in 2004, was intended to oversee the operations and future of the Denver Broncos. However, following Bowlen’s passing, the trust became a source of contention among his heirs, leading to disputes over majority control of the franchise.

Q: How much is the Denver Broncos franchise valued at?

A: The Denver Broncos franchise is currently valued at approximately $4 billion, making it one of the most valuable assets in the world of professional sports.

Q: Who are the potential buyers interested in acquiring ownership of the Broncos?

A: At least six potential bidders have expressed interest in acquiring ownership of the Denver Broncos. Notable among them are former Broncos stars John Elway and Peyton Manning, each leading competing investment groups.

Q: What was the significance of the recent court ruling?

A: The recent court ruling revoked the right of first refusal clause, which previously gave Edgar Kaiser and his family the option to purchase the Broncos before any third-party sale. This ruling paves the way for potential new ownership and increases the likelihood of the Broncos being sold to parties other than the Kaisers.

Q: When can we expect the ownership transition to be announced?

A: The Denver Broncos are currently focused on naming a new head coach. Once this hiring process is complete, the franchise anticipates making an announcement regarding the ownership transition in the near future.

Doug I. Jones

Doug I. Jones

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