Magic Johnson jumps into Denver Broncos ownership bidding

Magic Johnson at the NBA All-Star Game. Credit: Kyle Terada, USA TODAY Sports.
Magic Johnson at the NBA All-Star Game. Credit: Kyle Terada, USA TODAY Sports.

From a business perspective, the Denver Broncos are the hottest thing in American professional sports at the moment.

The Broncos have become a marquee franchise in the National Football League thanks to the last 40 years of ownership, most of which was with Pat Bowlen in charge. When Bowlen bought the team in 1984, the Broncos were a joke, with nearly twice as many losing seasons (14) than winning years (8).

With Bowlen in charge, the Broncos won the AFC Championship seven times and won three Super Bowls, ascending to the mountain top of the NFL.

Thanks to Bowlen’s brilliant leadership and ownership, the Broncos are now that hottest commodity in American sports, as they’re expected to sell for what would be a record of $4 billion-plus.

And as of Thursday morning, Earvin “Magic” Johnson is jumping into the fray.

According to Sportico, Johnson is joining in the bid for the Broncos with Josh Harris, the Philadelphia 76ers owner, and part-owner of many teams. Johnson was a part owner of the Los Angeles Lakers, but sold his share in 2010.

Harris is the NHL’s New Jersey Devils owner, and he’s the co-founder and managing partner of an investment group which bought the Philadelphia 76ers of the NBA in 2011. That sale was for $280 million.

Then, in 2013, the same investment group — led by Harris — won a bid for the aforementioned Devils as well as the Prudential Center where they play, for $320 million. But their sports ties don’t end there. They also have an 18% share of Crystal Palace F.C., they own an NBA G-League team, an AHL team and have a less than 5% stake in the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Of course, if the Harris investment group wins the bidding war for the Broncos, they will have to change how those teams are owned as Harris won’t be able to own them and the Broncos per league rules.

Harris’ group is considered one of the top-3 candidates to buy the Denver-based football team and their Empower Field at Mile High Stadium.

Walmart heir and former Chairman of the Board Rob Walton, currently worth around $70 billion, is the expected frontrunner for becoming the next Broncos owner. The NFL must take the highest bid, and clearly Walton has enough money to win a bidding war.

Behind Walton is Harris’ group as well as Todd Boehly’s group.

And speaking of the aforementioned stadium — which caught on fire earlier this year — the Broncos could be in line for a $2 billion new stadium when they are bought by one of these groups.

Boehly owns a 20% share of the Los Angeles Dodgers and partially owns the LA Sparks WNBA team. Boehly also made an attempt to buy the Chelsea F.C. in 2019 for $3 billion, but was turned down. Now he’s mounting that effort again with a Russian Oligarch being sanctioned due to Russia’s brutal, war-crime-filled attack of Ukraine and the following UK sanctions.

Boehly and a partner own a 27% share of the Los Angeles Lakers and he’s also the owner of DraftKings.

Update: Woody Paige of the Colorado Springs Gazette says Walton and Harris are now the final two competitors. He also said Harris was at Dove Valley on Thursday, with Walton visiting next Thursday.

Walton is indeed the favorite per Paige due to his incredible amount of money, his realationship as brother-in-law to Stan Kroenke and more.

Update 2: Troy Renck says the team told him there are still three top groups we mentioned above:

Who will be the eventual next owner of the Broncos still remains up in the air, but the team is expected to be sold before the season kicks off in September of this year.

Next week, the team kicks off rookie mini-camp (May 13-14) ahead of OTAs before the true offseason begins in June. We’re not sure yet what the Broncos first game will be this year, but some believe they may face the Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams in the season kickoff.

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