Media mogul Byron Allen has announced his intention to make a bid on the purchase of the National Football League Denver Broncos franchise. He could become the first Black team owner in the NFL.
Allen made the announcement in a statement to Bloomberg on Feb. 8, telling the business network that he had been encouraged to consider NFL franchise ownership by a pair of prominent league executives.
“NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft came to me in November of 2019 and asked me to take a good look at buying an NFL team,” Allen said. “And after serious consideration, I strongly believe I can effectuate positive changes throughout the league. And for that reason, I will be making a bid for the Denver Broncos.”
The Broncos went up for sale on Feb. 1, 2022. The organization has been plagued with legal challenges since the death of former owner Pat Bowlen in 2019, who left control of the franchise in a trust prior to his death. The trust wants to find new ownership before the start of the next season, which will begin on Sept. 8, 2022.
One of the lawsuits involves former Miami Dolphins football coach Brian Flores, who is suing the Broncos and other teams for racist hiring practices.
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The Broncos franchise is valued at $3.75 billion and reportedly expected to fetch more than $4 billion, according to Forbes. Allen, whose net worth is estimated between $400 million and $450 million, will likely have partners in his bid but retain majority ownership.
Allen launched his career as a standup comedian and TV host in the 1990s, founding Entertainment Studios in 1993. Today, it is a successful media conglomerate.
The company’s portfolio includes 15 local network stations and ownership of The Weather Channel, which it purchased in 2018. Allen, 60, recently bid for the regional TV operator Tegna Inc. Acquisition talks are still ongoing.
Allen is also in the middle of a $10 billion lawsuit against fast-food giant McDonald’s. The discrimination lawsuit claims that McDonald’s engages in patterns of racial stereotyping and regularly refuses to conduct business with Black-owned media companies in its advertising business.
Photos: Denver Broncos, Denver, Colorado, Oct. 31, 2021, All-Pro Reels Photography / Flickr
Byron Allen speaks during a ceremony honoring him with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Oct. 20, 2021 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)