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New Denver Broncos owner: List of candidates narrowed to 5

Vincent Frank

There will be a new Denver Broncos owner in place once the 2022 NFL season gets going in September.

Outgoing CEO Joe Ellis has noted multiple times that the organization wants to have a new owner in the fold once the regular season starts.

All of this comes after the children of late former Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen couldn’t agree on a successor to take over the organization.

We now have a report from Sportico indicating that the list of potential new owners has been dwindled to five, led by Walmart heir Rob Walton who is worth an estimated $70.4 billion. Walton’s presence shouldn’t be considered a surprise. He’s viewed as the favorite to land the Broncos. Most of that has to do with his ability to buy the Broncos without other partners having to join in.

According to the Sportico report, Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly and Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils co-owner Josh Harris are the two other known candidates who have submitted non-binding bids to buy the Broncos. The other two groups or individuals who have submitted bids are not yet known.

Related: Next Denver Broncos owner, a look at 5 potential candidates

Denver Broncos for sale: Bidding could exceed $4 billion

new denver broncos owner
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Forbes currently estimates the Broncos to be valued at a cool $3.75 billion. Any sale of the team would far outpace the $2.275 billion David Tepper paid for the Carolina Panthers back in 2018. That remains the record paid for an NFL team to this day.

A recent report indicates that bidding to buy the Broncos could end up exceeding $4 billion, which would also be a record for any of the major North American professional sports.

A look at the known and rumored candidates to become the next Denver Broncos owner

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers-Press Conference
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

As noted above, Walton wouldn’t have an issue submitting a winning bid on his own. He would also likely be approved by the 31 other NFL team owners, who would have to agree to the sale.

However, it’s not this simple. Harris is highly respected around both the NHL and NBA worlds. His forward-thinking mentality has led to a vast amount of wealth. A graduate of the Harvard Business school, he co-founded one of the world’s largest alternative investment firms (Apollo Global Management) and is said to be worth a cool $7.05 billion.

Harris is well-known in the Philadelphia community in joining with his wife, Marjorie Harris, in helping build up the community. This can’t be lost within the powers that be in the NFL.

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As for Todd Boehly, the CEO of Eldridge Industries is said to be worth $4.72 billion. He’s one of the owners of the huge daily fantasy sports site, DraftKings, while boasting a 20% stake in the Dodgers and a 27% stake in the Dodgers. Boehly previously attempted to buy the English football club Chelsea for $3 billion back in 2019.

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As for the potential candidates not listed in the Sportico report, Entertainment Studios CEO Byron Allen has been bandied about a lot. He would be the first black majority owner in the NFL. It’s something that Commissioner Roger Goodell and Co. would like to see come to fruition. Vista Equity Partners chair Robert F. Smith is also someone the league has been courting. Like Allen, he’d become the first black majority owner in the NFL.

At a time when the league is facing a class-action lawsuit claiming systemic racism in the hiring process, bringing in a minority would help the NFL from a PR perspective. However, it remains a long shot that either Allen or Smith will become the next Denver Broncos owner.