DENVER (CBS4) – Annabel and Pat Bowlen have been visible and active in Denver’s community, but much less is known about the Bowlen children. There’s a chance one might take over the Denver Broncos franchise at some point after Bowlen stepped down on Wednesday due to Alzheimer’s disease.
There are seven children from Bowlen’s two marriages. The youngest is still in high school, and from the family statement, the Bowlens suggested one child may someday take over the Denver Broncos. But it’s still not clear which one may be interested.
The team, which Bowlen purchased in 1984 for $78 million, is valued at just less than $1.2 billion. Forbes considers the Broncos to be the 25th most valuable sports franchise in the world and 13th in the NFL.
“It is Pat’s hope, Mr. Bowlen’s hope that a child will come along, earn the right to sit in his seat and run the team,” Broncos President and CEO Joe Ellis said at a news conference on Wednesday. Bowlen placed the team in a trust.
Broncos executive and former quarterback John Elway was reportedly offered a portion of ownership while he was a player in 1998, but Elway said those negotiations never became serious.
On Wednesday, Elway maintained that the Bowlens own the franchise: “The family owns the Broncos. Pat Bowlen owns the Broncos and we have a total respect for that.”
Bowlen’s ownership hasn’t been without legal hassles. Former owner Edgar Kaiser sued Bowlen, contending that any sale of the team must first be offered to him. Bowlen violated that, Kaiser alleged, when he offered 20 percent of the team to Elway.
The Bowlen children, below, are pictured in various forms of social media — many with their father. Christianna, the youngest, attends a private high school in Denver. Annabel is college age. Patrick, John, Brittany, Annabel and Christianna are all from Pat’s marriage to Annabel, his second marriage.
Patrick and John are Bronco employees. Patrick is the facilities coordinator for the Bronco organization. Brittany works for the National Football League office.
Beth and Amie are from Pat’s first marriage to Sally Parker. Beth is the special events coordinator for the Broncos.
Many fans like the idea of keeping the team in the Bowlen family.
“The Bowlens are a really great family and do a lot for the community … I think that would be really great,” a fan said.
The Broncos say they aren’t willing to speculate which of the children might be in line for a top Bronco job and the team asked that they be left alone for now.
While they have known about their father’s condition, going public with it has not been easy for them.
Ellis says he met with five of the seven children earlier this week.
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