ENGLEWOOD, Colorado, USA (AP) – The Denver Broncos should have a new owner by now next year, be it Brittany Bowlen or a billionaire like Jeff Bezos.

Team president and CEO Joe Ellis said Tuesday that the trust that operates the franchise will begin a transition in early 2022, with the new owner taking over by the start of next season.

“Your server will no longer be the controlling owner (delegate) sometime in the spring or early summer, I can’t put an exact date on that. But trust me, we need to figure it out, ”said Ellis, who has operated the equipment since 2014, when Alzheimer’s forced owner Pat Bowlen, who died later, to abandon his day-to-day duties at the helm of the organization.

Ellis is one of three trustees for the $ 3.2 billion franchise. The trust could approve that one of Bowlen’s children be the next controlling owner.

The main candidate would be 31-year-old Brittany Bowlen.

Another option would be to sell the equipment.

Arapahoe County District Judge John E. Scipione granted a motion earlier this month dismissing a lawsuit brought by two daughters of the late owner and his first wife. All parties to the dispute are prohibited from addressing the matter publicly.

Amie Bowlen Klemmer and Beth Bowlen Wallace had alleged that their father was already affected by Alzheimer’s and was subject to “undue influence” when he established the three-person trust that has managed the team since 2014, when the then owner resigned.

Bowlen died in 2019, a month before induction into the Hall of Fame.

The judge’s order means that the trust retains the power to decide the future of the franchise.

Ellis said he met with Commissioner Roger Goodell earlier this month at the latter’s summer residence in Maine. They both analyzed their transition plan.

“He agreed with this,” he said.

Ellis is in his 11th season as team president and in his eighth as CEO. He was in charge during two visits to the Super Bowl and in the third championship won by the Broncos in their history.

But he is going through a five-year streak without advancing to the playoffs, which includes four consecutive losing seasons. This is the team’s worst streak since the 1970 merger between the AFL and the NFL.