DENVER — With the popularity of the NFL exploding and few opportunities to own a team, there will be no shortage of interested parties in the Broncos. Two with plans to bid emerged this week in media mogul Byron Allen and Los Angeles billionaire Alec Gores.
Peyton Manning remains expected to be part of a bidding group as well, meaning there will be competition as the Broncos change ownership for the first time in 38 years. The Broncos announced earlier this month that the team will be placed on the auction block after Pat Bowlen’s children could not agree on a successor among them.
Commissioner Roger Goodell said Wednesday during his annual Super Bowl media address that he expects the Broncos sale to be complete before the start of the 2022 season.
Bloomberg reported Allen's interest in the Broncos, while The Los Angeles Times said the Beverly Hills-based Gores group will be in the mix.
Allen stated that, "Roger Goodell and Robert Kraft came to me in November 2019 and asked me to take a good look at buying an NFL team. After serious consideration, I strongly believe I can effectuate positive changes."
Goodell admitted he has talked with Allen multiple times over the past 2 1/2 years.
"We would love to see a diverse owner of the team, whether that's a person of color or a female or a black man, we think that would be a really positive step for us. It's something we have encouraged. It's one of the reasons we have reached out to find candidates who can do that," Goodell said. "There is no timetable. The Denver Broncos are selling the team, not the NFL. We would have approval rights, but I think we will be very clear, and we have already with the Broncos, that it's something we seek to have in the ownership group. And it's certainly something we will encourage as the process goes a long."
According to a Denver7 source, there is expected to be an additional minority-led group bidding as well.
Allen has talked in previous interviews how he has gone from broke to billions. He began as a young standup comic appearing on Johnny Carson, and eventually convinced TV stations to air his late night talk show. He provided it for free, then he and the stations shared the advertising revenue. Fast forward to 2018 and Allen’s Entertainment Studios acquired the Weather Channel for $300 million. He has reportedly raised roughly $10 billion in preferred equity to bid on the media company Tegna.
Translation: money will not be a problem for Allen. There must be one controlling stake in any ownership group of 30 percent, meaning $1.2 billion if the Broncos' purchase price reaches $4 billion.
According to the Times, the Gores Group purchases and sells companies. Gores, 69, would be teamed with two partners — Dean Metropoulos, 75, a Florida investment strong arm and Mat Ishbia, 42, a chief executive of the Michigan-based lender United Wholesale Mortgage. Tom Gores, Alec's brother, owns the Detroit Pistons of the NBA.
The Broncos have retained Steve Greenberg of Allen & Company as their financial adviser and Joe Leccese of Proskauer Rose LLP as its legal adviser for the ownership transition. Greenberg helped facilitate sells of the New York Mets and Carolina Panthers, which set the record sale price for an NFL franchise at $2.275 billion.