CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- Beth Bowlen Wallace seeks to become controlling owner of the Broncos.
Bowlen Wallace, one of owner Pat Bowlen's seven children attempting to land the role, made her intentions clear Thursday. She released a statement to the media.
“I love the Denver Broncos. This team has been so special to my family, to the City of Denver and to the state of Colorado,” Bowlen Wallace, 47, said. “My father’s legacy is very important to me and my family. It is my desire to lead this team with the same passion my father did and help the Broncos become Super Bowl champions again. I have the ambition, experience and drive, and my mentor in running a winning NFL franchise is the best in the business -- my father.”
The trust, put in place as Pat Bowlen's health declined, has discretion on determining which of Bowlen's children meets the criteria of the succession plan. The Pat Bowlen Trust countered Wallace's intentions with a statement on Thursday.
“Beth Bowlen is not the only Bowlen child who is expressing interest in becoming controlling owner. The trustees have informed Beth of their determination that she is not capable or qualified at this time."
In a statement, the Trust made clear that her employment as Director of Special Projects for the team, a job she held from 2012-15, ended for a reason.
"We have communicated our decision to Beth and her lawyers on multiple occasions. She is also fully informed as to why her employment with the team ended in 2015."
Per a release, Bowlen Wallace submitted a proposal for a succession plan. Following a transition period of mentoring from current leadership, Beth's preference is to take over as the controlling owner. Furthermore, her plan involved the other Bowlen children "and a succession plan beyond Beth."
“Along with continuing the winning tradition of my father, the focus is to keep this team in my family and keep the Broncos in Denver,” she said.
But the Trust was more succinct in saying it was rejecting Bowlen Wallace's claims, saying she had declined chances to discuss ownership further in recent years.
"As trustees, we will continue to honor Pat's long-standing plan to determine the Broncos' future ownership and any potential appointment of his children to leadership positions within the organization. Our decisions will always be guided by what will ensure the long-term success and stability of the Broncos while also doing what's best for our community, our fans and the NFL," the Trust said in a statement. "Consistent with Pat's long-standing succession plan, our decisions are not to be dictated by the short-term or personal interests of any individual."
Bowlen Wallace does have the support of Broncos minority owners Kerry and John Bowlen, they said in a statement to Denver7. But the process is still controlled by the discretion of the trust.
“We fully support Beth Bowlen Wallace to become the controlling owner of the Denver Broncos. Beth has worked extremely hard to meet the criteria established for the children of Pat Bowlen to be qualified to run and manage the organization,” they said in the statement. “As minority owners of the team, we would be proud and thrilled to have her as the leader of this franchise. There is strong support as well from fans who favor her bid for controlling ownership.”
“Her plan is just right—to take over as managing owner now and in the future allow the other children to mature, learn and grow into the position, keeping this team in her family and in Denver, where the Broncos belong,” Kerry and John Bowlen added.
Meanwhile, Broncos' President and CEO Joe Ellis said it would continue to follow Pat Bowlen's blueprint.
"As a trustee and someone Pat designated to oversee his team, I have an enormous responsibility to carefully administer his succession plan and make decisions in the best interests of the Broncos," he said in a statement. "We will continue to follow Pat's blueprint—and nobody else's—while keeping our focus as an organization on having a successful season."
Pat Bowlen remains a strong candidate to earn election into the NFL Hall of Fame. He spearheaded success that resulted in three Super Bowl titles over a three-decade run of excellence. Following a drubbing in Super Bowl 48 to Seattle, the Bowlen family announced that Pat had resigned control of the team as he battled Alzheimer's. Joe Ellis, the Broncos CEO and a longtime figure in league circles, took over the day-to-day operations. It is left to Ellis and the other two trustees to direct the team in the present and make a decision on a potential future owner among Pat's children.