Numerous news outlets are reporting that Black billionaire Robert F. Smith could become the first person of color to own an NFL franchise. The team is expected to be put up for sale, reports Yahoo Sports.
Among the expected bidders for the franchise will be, according to A.J. Perez of FrontOfficeSports.com, Denver native Robert F. Smith. If Smith emerges as the purchaser, he would become the NFL’s first Black controlling owner of a franchise.
Smith is worth an estimated $6.7 billion, according to Forbes. Smith would need to acquire at least 30 percent of the franchise. With the Broncos expected to fetch a price of $4 billion, he’d need to personally devote roughly $1.33 billion to the overall purchase, with the remainder coming from limited partners.
Woody Paige of the Denver Gazette has reported that six groups are prepared to make bids for the team. One group reportedly will be led by Brittany Bowlen, the daughter of the late Pat Bowlen. For several years, three trustees have operated the team, at the direction of Pat Bowlen. Their goal was to identify whether and when one of Bowlen’s seven children would be ready to run the team. Without full agreement among the children regarding the sibling who will run the team, however, that designation becomes impossible. Some of the children, led by Brittany, could try to buy out the children who are unwilling to continue the arrangement with Brittany running the team.
Current Broncos executive John Elway and former Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning reportedly are involved with two separate groups that hope to buy the team. Presumably, neither has enough assets to serve as the controlling owner.
Ultimately, the winning bidder must secure approval from 24 of the league’s 32 owners. Money will go a long way toward determining the purchase price.