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Legal battle over ownership of Denver Broncos will now be decided by a judge

Denver Broncos

Denver Broncos defensive tackle McTelvin Agim (95) celebrates his sack against the Los Angeles Rams with defensive end Dre’Mont Jones (93) and linebacker Barrington Wade (64) during the second half of an NFL preseason football game, Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

DENVER (KDVR) — Closing arguments are complete, and it will now be up to a judge to decide 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 the Broncos want to get this legal issue figured out in the event the team is up for sale in the near future.

The right of first refusal would give the ability to match an offer to buy the team.

Fennemore lawyer Dan Reilly, lead counsel for Denver Broncos Entities says that agreement is not enforceable.

“We argue that when Edgar Kaiser passed away, any right he had under the first refusal passed away also, that it is terminated,” Reilly said.

But attorneys on the other side say that right was properly transferred.

“The right of first refusal that Mr. Bowlen gave to Mr. Kaiser was under a contract that had a successors and assigns provision. Mr. Kaiser transferred his rights to this entity ROFR Holdings Limited, and we are seeking a declaration from the judge that we have a valid right of first refusal,” said James Kilroy, counsel for ROFR Holdings and Twelve LLC.

Judge Shelly L. Gilman said it could take 45 to 90 days to make a ruling.

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