With today’s deadline for second-round bids on the Broncos having come and gone, there are are few interesting developments regarding the ongoing sales process. Given what has already been reported on the subject, neither come as much of a surprise.
With the four remaining groups having placed their bids this afternoon, the prospective owner seen as the favorite to ultimately take over the team is the same as it has been presumed for some time now. Troy Renck of Denver7 reports that Walmart heir Rob Walton “remains the clear frontrunner” to win the bidding process (video link). He adds that Walton’s bid “could be upwards of $4.5B”. Walton has been seen as the likeliest candidate for months, and that figure would fall in line with the expected value of the team.
Walton – who, Renck also notes would become the NFL’s all-time wealthiest owner should he be successful – is competing against three other bidders. Those groups are led by 76ers and Devils owner Josh Harris, whose party also includes Magic Johnson, the trio of soon-to-be Chelsea owners which would be led by Jose Feliciano, and brothers Mat and Justin Ishbia. Up until this second round of bidding, media mogul Byron Allen was still in the running, but only the four finalists participated today. The process could very well be complete by the end of the month.
Regardless of who becomes the next owner, they could recruit a familiar face as part of the beginning of their tenure overseeing the franchise. Mike Klis of 9News reports that all four of the finalists have spoken to Peyton Manning “to gauge his interest” in becoming a minority owner or advisor to the team. The Hall of Fame QB has previously made it clear doing so is a distinct possibility, though that was before the identities of the prospective buyers were known. Klis adds that there is “no word” on what Manning is currently planning with respect to any potential role in the new ownership group.
With another key checkpoint being reached in the sales process, the exact terms of the pending deal – and the particulars of who will be involved in the new regime – will remain worth watching for in the coming days and weeks.