Broncos CEO Joe Ellis says “team needs a new owner, it’s time for that”
Broncos President and CEO Joe Ellis spoke to a small group of media at the NFL’s annual league meetings on Monday, providing his most extensive comments yet since it was announced the team is for sale.
Ellis was asked, first and foremost, when will a new owner be running the show?
“Yes, start of the (2022) regular season I really believe that we can have a new owner in place by that time. Don’t hold me to that as a guarantee, but I do think that’s a realistic timetable,” Ellis said.
So while it’s literally a matter of months until a new man or woman is running the Broncos, fans are obviously curious who that person will be. Ellis said he’s not allowed to share specifics, but a lot of folks do indeed want to buy the team.
“There’s really a significant amount of interest from a number of very, very qualified bidders, in my opinion. I can’t disclose any of them… That’s not going to happen. We’ve all signed non-disclosure agreements and have sworn to confidentiality so I’m going to honor that. I will say I think it’s exciting for the fans, the team needs a new owner, it’s time for that. As I said we should have that in place by the start of the regular season,” Ellis said.
When the Broncos announced on February 1 the team was for sale, Ellis received some criticism for not holding a press conference at the time. The comment the team needs a new owner is his most extensive endorsement yet that Denver will be moving on from the Bowlen family. Pat Bowlen bought the Broncos in 1984 and the team has been in the family ever since. Power was transferred to a trust led by Ellis in 2014, but will be sold and not given to one of Bowlen’s children.
Whoever is the next owner will have tremendous pressure to deliver multiple Super Bowls to Denver, just like Bowlen did, and Ellis commented on the importance of that person being engaged with the team.
“That process of interviewing, getting them to understand what the Broncos are all about, being an NFL owner is all about,” Ellis said. “I’ve had a few owners come up to me and say ‘we want a person that is going to be present and is going to be engaged and not be distant from his or her franchise.’ Those type of characteristics I think are important and they’re being relayed to the prospective bidders. The bidders understand that.”
The Broncos should sell for more than $4B whenever the transaction becomes official. It’s expected to be the largest price tag for a team in North American sports history.