The second-oldest child of Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen, Beth Bowlen Wallace, informed the NFL and team officials she wants to be named controlling owner of the team.
“I love the Denver Broncos. This team has been so special to my family, to the City of Denver and to the state of Colorado,” Bowlen Wallace said in a news release. “My father’s legacy is very important to me and my family. It is my desire to lead this team with the same passion my father did and help the Broncos become Super Bowl champions again. I have the ambition, experience and drive, and my mentor in running a winning NFL franchise is the best in the business — my father.”
Bowlen Wallace said Thursday she met the criteria laid out by her father to assume the most prominent position in the flow chart of the Broncos’ franchise. But the trust established by Pat Bowlen disagreed, releasing a statement through the Broncos that directly counters her claims.
“As trustees honoring the clear wishes of Pat, we have thoroughly evaluated whether Beth is capable of succeeding her father as controlling owner. We have determined that she is not capable or qualified at this time. We have communicated our decision to Beth and her lawyers on multiple occasions. She is also fully informed as to why her employment with the team ended in 2015.
“Although Beth has declined our invitations to discuss her qualifications for the last two years, we will continue to proactively engage and meet with any of the Bowlen children who express a desire to earn the right to succeed their father. As trustees, we will continue to honor Pat’s long-standing plan to determine the Broncos’ future ownership and any potential appointment of his children to leadership positions within the organization.
“Our decisions will always be guided by what will ensure the long-term success and stability of the Broncos while also doing what’s best for our community, our fans and the NFL.”
Pat Bowlen has seven children from two marriages. He purchased the team in 1984 and resigned as CEO in 2014 due to onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
Pat Bowlen and his two brothers, John Bowlen and Bill Bowlen, and sister Marybeth Bowlen, originally purchased the team from Edgar Kaiser.
“The statements issued by Beth Bowlen Wallace today are contrary to Pat Bowlen’s long-standing succession plan that he created over many years of careful consideration,” the trust statement reads.
“Pat was determined to ensure the Broncos would remain a premier franchise in the National Football League in the event of his absence. He chose to sustain the team’s success in that eventuality by appointing three non-family trustees to determine whether any of his children had become qualified at some point to step into his shoes.
“Pat did not designate Beth as a trustee or appoint her to a leadership position, nor did he instruct the trustees to specifically mentor her. He made it clear that his children were not automatically entitled to a role with the team and that they would have to earn that opportunity through their accomplishments, qualifications and character.”
Broncos president and CEO Joe Ellis also issued a statement on the matter.
“As a trustee and someone Pat designated to oversee his team, I have an enormous responsibility to carefully administer his succession plan and make decisions in the best interests of the Broncos,” Ellis said. “We will continue to follow Pat’s blueprint — and nobody else’s — while keeping our focus as an organization on having a successful season.”
—Field Level Media