Broncos announce that the team is for sale

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The Denver Broncos are officially for sale.

The franchise released a statement from the Pat Bowlen Trust on Tuesday announcing the sale alongside a statement from team president Joe Ellis.

"Whoever emerges as the new owner will certainly understand what the team means to our great fans and this community," Ellis said, per the statement.

The team hopes to have the sale completed in time to start the 2022 season.

The state of the franchise's ownership has been a source of contention since former owner Pat Bowlen relinquished control of the team to a trust in 2014 after he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. He died in 2019, and the team has remained under control of the trust since. Bowlen bought the franchise in 1984 and oversaw seven Super Bowl appearances that included three victories before his death.

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 14: Denver Broncos color rush uniforms with old logo on the helmet before the NFL game between the Denver Broncos and Indianapolis Colts on December 14, 2017, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN. (Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
The Denver Broncos are for sale. (Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The trust resulted in a legal feud among Bowlen's seven children and team executives over who would take control of the franchise. A series of legal decisions concluding with a Jan. 11 ruling by a Denver judge that negated an agreement between Bowlen and previous majority owner Edgar Kaiser cleared the path for the sale.

The Bowlens released a separate statement from the sale announcement on Tuesday.

“With today beginning the Broncos’ transition to new ownership, our family is overwhelmed with gratitude for what this organization and community have meant to us,” the statement reads. “There are truly no words to express our deep appreciation to all of Broncos Country for its unwavering support during the past four decades.”

Forbes valued the Broncos at $3.75 billion in 2021. The franchise is expected to fetch more than $4 billion in the sale, which would be a record price for an American sports franchise. Franchise great quarterbacks John Elway and Peyton Manning have both been mentioned in reports as interested in joining potential ownership groups.