The owner of the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts predicts a few of the league’s teams could be ripe for sale, and the Seattle Seahawks might be next.
Colts owner and CEO Jim Irsay made his prediction Monday during an interview with Bloomberg’s “Business of Sports” show.
“Seattle — with Paul Allen my friend unfortunately passing away and that team is in a trust — is going to become available I’d imagine in the 2024 range,” Irsay said.
When Allen died in 2018, he left behind an expansive array of interests and properties, including the Seahawks and the Portland Trail Blazers, the NBA team he owned.
His sister Jody Allen is the trustee of the late Microsoft co-founder’s estate, and earlier this summer she responded to reports about the potential sale of the basketball team and eventually the football team.
She said in a June statement that a “time will come” when the teams will be put up for sale “given Paul’s plans to dedicate the vast majority of his wealth to philanthropy, but estates of this size and complexity can take 10 to 20 years to wind down. There is no pre-ordained timeline by which the teams must be sold.”
Irsay told Bloomberg that competition for the Seahawks organization will likely draw bids from from private equity chiefs and billionaires alike.
“The problem now is finding people that have the net worth that can actually buy a team,” Irsay said, adding that the recent sale of the NFL’s Denver Broncos for $4.65 billion, to a group headed by Walmart heir Rob Walton, “was a heck of a deal” because it was under $8 billion.
Could Amazon founder Jeff Bezos be that person? His name often rises to the top of any list of prospective buyers when a professional franchise hits the market. The trade of former Seahawks QB Russell Wilson last spring increased the odds of Bezos buying the team, according to one theory.
Bezos has also been rumored this month as a potential buyer of the Phoenix Suns NBA team.
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