Beth Bowlen, one of Broncos' owner Pat Bowlen's daughters, wants controlling ownership of team

Shalise Manza Young
Yahoo Sports Contributor

It seems like Beth Bowlen, one of the daughters of Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen, has done everything required to take control of the team her father has owned for over 30 years, but she isn’t getting it just yet.

A story published Thursday on The Athletic by Broncos writer Nicki Jhabvala details Beth’s stated aim of becoming controlling owner of the Broncos; the team is currently run by a three-person trust, which took over in 2013 after Pat formally resigned due to health issues — he’s afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease.

Broncos president and CEO Joe Ellis, along with team counsel Rich Slivka and Denver attorney Mary Kelly, are the trustees, though Ellis operates as Pat Bowlen once did, representing the Broncos at NFL meetings and making day-to-day decisions.

Plan is to keep Broncos in the family

Bowlen’s plan all along was for his seven children to each get an equal stake in the franchise, but with one emerging to take over. While the trustees do have the authority to sell the team, Ellis has repeatedly said that’s not going to happen.

Beth Bowlen, one of Pat Bowlen’s seven children, publicly expressed her desire to become the Denver Broncos’ controlling owner. (AP)

“When a child emerges that has the capability and has earned the right to have that job and take over their father’s chair, the three trustees will determine that,” Ellis said two years ago.

Beth, 47, is the second-oldest of Pat’s children and one of two daughters he had with his first wife, Sally Parker, and has positioned herself to take control, but so far it has not been given.

‘I felt it was a good time to … express my interest’

Beth Bowlen has made it clear with the league and with the trustees that she intends on being appointed controlling owner.

“I know the fans have been anxious and have been asking quite a few questions about what’s happening with the succession plan of the Denver Broncos. I have completed the criteria laid out by the trustees, so I felt it was a good time to come out and express my interest in and desire to be a part of the organization again,” she told Jhabvala.

In a statement, the Pat Bowlen Trust said Beth is not the only one of Pat’s children to express such interest and that the trustees have informed Beth that it’s their belief she is “not capable or qualified at this time.”

In February 2015, the trustees sent a letter to Annabel Bowlen, Pat’s wife, and his seven children, outlining the criteria that had to be met before they’d be considered for controlling say: things like leadership, integrity and sound judgment were mentioned, but there were more specific demands, like a bachelor’s degree plus either an MBA, law degree or another advanced business-related degree, and five years of “senior management experience” with the NFL, Broncos or the Stadium Manage Company, which runs the team’s home stadium.

Qualified on paper

On paper, it appears, Beth comes close to meeting those criteria. While she spent much of her early life in Hawaii, Beth did receive a bachelor’s from the University of Colorado in 1994; she returned to Hawaii, met and married her first husband, had two sons, and started an event-planning company.

But she returned to Denver in 2008 to be near and work with her father. Starting in 2012, she spent three years as the team’s director of special projects; one of the things she was heavily involved in was the development of the Ring of Honor Plaza outside of the stadium. She has also been visible at numerous charity and community events.

Two years ago, she completed her law degree at the University of Denver, which she did for the sole reason of meeting one of the trustees’ criteria for controlling ownership.

“My desire is to have my father run this football team,” Beth said. “That’s not possible, so I’ve gone out, I’ve met the criteria, I’ve educated myself, I’ve carried myself in the public authentically as who I am and I want the opportunity to step into a leadership role because that’s what my father wanted — for one of his children to step into a leadership role.”

It does not appear there is a timetable for the trustees to name a controlling owner.

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