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Volume 27 No. 10
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Broncos Could Be Sold If Brittany Bowlen Doesn't Take Over

Bowlen re-joined the Broncos in December as part of a grooming process to succeed her father as team owner
Photo: broncos
Bowlen re-joined the Broncos in December as part of a grooming process to succeed her father as team owner
Photo: broncos
Bowlen re-joined the Broncos in December as part of a grooming process to succeed her father as team owner
Photo: broncos

Broncos President & CEO Joe Ellis said that if Brittany Bowlen, daughter of late Owner Pat Bowlen, does "not rise to the role of controlling owner, the next move would be to put the team up for sale," according to Ryan O'Halloran of the DENVER POST. Brittany Bowlen re-joined the Broncos on Dec. 2 as VP/Strategic Initiatives, "viewed as the first step to her gaining the necessary experience to eventually replace her late father." It was previously believed that Pat Bowlen's children and his brother, John, who owns a stake of at least 20% in the Broncos, "would have to come to a consensus vote to choose a controlling owner from within the family." But that is "not a mandate." Ellis said that the trustees "believe family cooperation is necessary." He added, "If they are all not going to agree to Brittany running the team, it seems to me that we're headed for more battles and at that point, I know Pat would have preferred the team be sold." The current battle is "dealing with the lawsuit brought by Beth Bowlen Wallace and Amie Klemmer, Pat's two oldest children, challenging the validity of the 2009 Patrick D. Bowlen Trust" (DENVER POST, 12/31).

GO AHEAD AS PLANNED: Ellis said that while the lawsuit unfolds, they are "moving forward with Brittany's transition as they would otherwise to ensure she gains the necessary experience." Ellis: "For now, (the plan is to) keep her in this position. What I want to do is try to integrate some of the business aspects that football deals with so that she can come down and be a part of that at some point." He added, "I'd like to get her managing some folks because I think that's probably the biggest thing once you're in this position or the position of her father because you're managing the whole franchise" (THEATHLETIC.com, 12/30).

WHAT'S BEST FOR THE BRONCOS? In Denver, Mark Kiszla writes Ellis is "clearly weary from the squabbling among the Bowlen heirs." It is "hard enough to win on an NFL field without the constant distraction of legal battles in a courtroom." Brittany Bowlen will be "put in a no-win situation, with little hope of gaining the full confidence of Broncos Country, if she cannot count on the support of her own family." Kiszla: "Nobody asked me, but a sale of the Broncos to new ownership would give this team a fresh start and better chance to succeed than working under the constant duress of a Bowlen house divided by endless bickering among incorrigible children." Broncos Country can "only hope the Bowlen family will do what is best for a private business that all football lovers within shouting distance of the stadium make their personal business" (DENVER POST, 12/31). In Colorado Springs, Paul Klee writes the "Game of Thrones" drama that is "boiling behind the scenes figures to shape the franchise long after" '20 (Colorado Springs GAZETTE, 12/31).