DENVER (KDVR) — The Denver Broncos are officially for sale. The Pat Bowlen Trust announced Tuesday that it is beginning the sale process. The trustees hope to have the sale completed by the start of the 2022 NFL season.

The decision cleared the final hurdle in a long legal battle to determine if the right of first refusal that Pat Bowlen gave former Broncos owner Edgar Kaiser in 1984 is still enforceable even though both men have passed.

Forbes valued the team at nearly $4 billion, and now that the ruling has come down, the team could be under new ownership come the start of the 2022 season. Broncos management has said the ownership group will change.

As of 2020, the richest person in Colorado, Phillip Anschutz, was worth about $10 billion. This means it would cost about 20% of his total value for him to be a majority owner of the team. FOX31’s Data Desk did an analysis last year of who could afford to buy the Denver Broncos.

There had been rumors that Jeff Bezos was interested in buying the Broncos, but he denied that in October.

Peyton Manning has also been floated as a member of a potential ownership group.

Tuesday marked the official first day of the team’s ownership transition. The Bowlen family made this statement:

When Pat Bowlen purchased the Denver Broncos in 1984 with the help of his siblings—John, Bill and Marybeth—he set out with the goal of being No. 1 in everything. Over the past 38 seasons, his vision enabled the Broncos to become champions on and off the field.

With today beginning the Broncos’ transition to new ownership, our family is overwhelmed with gratitude for what this organization and community have meant to us. There are truly no words to express our deep appreciation to all of Broncos Country for its unwavering support during the past four decades.

We will forever cherish Pat’s leadership as a Hall of Fame Owner and CEO, guiding the Broncos to three World Championships, seven Super Bowls, 13 AFC West titles and 21 winning seasons. Off the field, Pat ensured his team gave back to the Denver community with the same passion that Broncos fans displayed every Sunday in the fall.

Nothing Pat accomplished would have been possible without the players, whom he loved dearly. Thank you to those who proudly wore the Broncos jersey over the years for your commitment to winning and serving our community.

Our family is eternally grateful for the coaches, support staff and team employees for all of their contributions. Thank you for your countless sacrifices and dedication to the Broncos.

Pat used to say the Broncos belonged to the fans and that ultimately this was their team. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for this incredible ride. It has been the honor of our lifetime.

All of us know that the impact of “Mr. B” will live on with the Broncos and in the hearts, minds and memories of the fans.

We will always cheer for the Orange and Blue. Go Broncos!

Joe Ellis’ statement:

The Pat Bowlen Trust announced today the beginning of a sale process for the Denver Broncos. We have retained Steve Greenberg of Allen & Company as our financial advisor and Joe Leccese of Proskauer Rose LLP as our legal advisor for this transition of ownership.

Selling an NFL team is a complex process involving numerous parties and league approval procedures. Nonetheless, the trustees hope to have the sale completed by the start of the 2022 NFL season.

The Broncos are a special franchise that is part of the fabric of this region, and whoever emerges as the new owner will certainly understand what the team means to our great fans and this community.