The Seattle Seahawks will likely become the next NFL franchise put up for sale, following in the footsteps of the Denver Broncos after their record-breaking purchase. When the deal goes down and how much it will cost to buy Seattle’s NFL franchise remains up for debate, with Jody Allen having an influential voice in the future of the team.
Allen took over the franchise after her brother Paul Allen passed away. He left behind assets and holdings worth billions of dollars, most of which his will instructed to be sold with the money being directed towards “passion projects” and various charities. While Jody Allen has made it clear both the Seahawks and Portland Trail Blazers will remain under her control for the immediate future, there is going to come a time when both pro sports teams are put up for bid. For now, many of Paul’s other cherished assets are being auctioned off.
The Associated Press reported that more than $1 billion worth of artwork left in Allen’s will is being auctioned through Christie’s in New York. When approximately 150 artworks are finally sold, it’s estimated that more than $1 billion total will be generated. It will mean even more money to support causes the Microsoft co-founder cared deeply about, including preserving the health of oceans, making improvements in scientific research and addressing homelessness.
It’s an important stage of the process following Allen’s death in 2018. The family has worked slowly to follow the instructions left in his will with an estate that carries an estimated value of $26 billion. While the Trail Blazers will likely be the first of the teams to be sold, the Seahawks might not be that far behind.
According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, any sale of the Seahawks before May 24 would require 10% of the proceeds to go directly to the state of Washington. It’s the result of the language in the deal when Seattle built its NFL stadium and paying the entirety of the fee to the city is mandatory.
Putting that figure into perspective, the Broncos were sold for $4.65 billion this year. If the Seahawks sold for the same price, that would be $465 million that the Allen family must payout to the state of Washington. However, the figure will likely be significantly higher in Seattle’s case.
- Seattle Seahawks franchise value (Forbes): $4.5 billion
Because of the team’s location in a major market and the NFL’s projections for skyrocketing revenue, the Seahawks will likely become the first NFL franchise to be sold for $5 billion. It’s a conservative estimate, with Florio believing the final figure could exceed a $5 billion price tag.
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That’s more than enough incentive to hold off on a potential sale until the summer of 2024. By then, the franchise might choose to open the bidding for prospective buyers during the NFL season with the process taking several months to unfold. At the earliest, the Seattle Seahawks will likely have new owners in 2025.