DENVER – The Denver Broncos are responding to claims made by an anonymous source to the Denver Post, after the newspaper reported Pat Bowlen’s younger brother is interested in selling his minority interest in the team, putting full ownership of the Broncos in the Bowlen family at risk.
A source who spoke with the Denver Post told the paper impetus for John Bowlen to sell his minority interest was out of a desire “to preserve Pat Bowlen’s legacy and because of dissatisfaction with the perceived execution of the succession plan.”
But in a statement from the Broncos obtained by Denver7 Sunday afternoon, the team said John is “extremely pleased with the way the organization is being operated under Joe Ellis” in the absence of his brother.
“John has never made any statements to the contrary, and … informed multiple members of the organization that the opinions attributed to him by an anonymous source in a media report did not come from him and do not represent his views,” said Broncos spokesman Patrick Smyth.
Smyth also said that although John is not looking to sell his minority, he was recently approached by someone who expressed interest in his share of the team.
Multiple sources confirmed to Denver7’s Broncos Insider Troy Renck that John Bowlen has not talked about selling his minority interest and was on board with the extension given to Broncos CEO and President Joe Ellis.
If a sale of his minority interest were to occur, however, it would not affect a broader transition for Pat Bowlen’s majority interest, since John does not have a vote in the daily operation of the Broncos, according to the Denver Post.
The newspaper reports Pat’s brother, William, sold his interest in 1996, followed a year later by their sister, Mary Elizabeth Jagger. After the 2006 death of their mother, Arvella Regis Bowlen, her interest was divided among Pat and John, who became owners up until 2004, when the team was placed in a family trust to transfer ownership to one of his seven children.
The Broncos are among the most valuable sports in the league, at the value of $2.4 billion, according to an estimate from Forbes magazine.