Broncos owner Pat Bowlen is giving up control of the team due to his battle with Alzheimer’s disease.
“As many in the Denver community and around the National Football League have speculated, my husband, Pat, has very bravely and quietly battled Alzheimer’s disease for the last few years,” Annabel Bowlen said in a statement.
“Pat has always wanted the focus to be solely on the Denver Broncos and the great fans who have supported this team with such passion during his 30 years as owner. My family is deeply saddened that Pat’s health no longer allows him to oversee the Broncos, which has led to this public acknowledgment of such a personal health condition.”
The team released a statement, “The Broncos are very saddened that Mr. Bowlen is no longer able to be part of the team’s daily operations due to his condition. We continue to offer our full support, compassion and respect to ‘Mr. B,’ who has faced Alzheimer’s disease with such dignity and strength.”
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell released a statement to The Denver Post.
“This is a sad day for the NFL, Pat Bowlen’s leadership has been critical to the success of the Broncos and the entire NFL. From building a championship team that is a pillar of the community to his important work for the league on television and labor matters, Pat’s love of the game drove him and we have all benefited from his passion and wisdom.”
In May 2009, Bowlen told the Denver Post he had been dealing with memory loss.
The Denver Broncos are not up for sale and will remain in the Bowlen family.
Team president Joe Ellis will take over according to Mike Klis of the Denver Post.
Bowlen won two Super Bowls with Denver since he purchased the team in 1984.