Denver Broncos ownership questions: Is a sale on the horizon amid family legal issues?

June 30, 2021 – Media Mention
The Athletic

Irwin Kishner, co-chair of Herrick's Sports Law Group, spoke to The Athletic about the future of the Denver Broncos NFL franchise. The three trustees that currently manage the team have received offers for the franchise amid an ongoing estate battle. The state court stayed the estate battle lawsuit this week with a crucial hearing scheduled less than two weeks away. 

"My take is that a settlement is imminent," said Kishner, adding that "there's one or two things this could be. One is that a settlement is imminent, which is more typical for these types of things. The second thing could be a reluctance to proceed with a trial that will air dirty laundry in a very public manner. I mean the case itself may disclose things that people don't want to know and so, therefore, they're avoiding that outcome."

The article noted that there is "also the strong possibility that the NFL is trying to get this case back to arbitration, where it was before the [trustees] filed suit." 

In addition, the article further explained that if the trustees do move to sell the team, a second litigation needs to be resolved because of a claim that a former partner was given a right of first refusal in the event of sale.  

"That would be an unusual provision in the context of a team, when you're dealing with the majority owners," Kishner noted. He elaborated that "if you're a minority owner, that's not unusual. In other words, the majority owner says before you sell, I have a right of first refusal. That's very typical. But for the majority owner to say, if I sell, the minority have rights of first refusal, that's very unusual."

Read the full article in The Athletic here. Access may require a subscription.