Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen. (Photo: Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen is one step away from being enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Thursday afternoon, he was nominated as a contributor finalist. All that remains is for 80 percent of full voting committee to approve when it votes in early February.
Former Cowboys executive GIl BraNdt was also named a contributor finalist.
Please continue to check back on this breaking and developing story.
Just a few of the reasons the Contributors Committee voted Pat Bowlen as a Pro Football Hall of Fame finalist.
BRONCOS OWNER PAT BOWLEN SELECTED AS CONTRIBUTOR NOMINEEFOR PRO FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2019
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Denver Broncos Owner Pat Bowlen on Thursday was selected as one of two contributor nominees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2019, it was announced. Gil Brandt joins Bowlen as the other contributor nominee for the Class of 2019.
In his 35th year as owner of the Broncos, Bowlen will be voted on for election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame when the Selection Committee meets in Atlanta on Saturday, Feb. 2, the eve of Super Bowl LIII. Like all other finalists, he must receive 80 percent approval from the full 48-person Selection Committee for election.
STATEMENT FROM THE BOWLEN FAMILY
“This is an exciting day for our family and the Broncos fans who have been so supportive of Pat Bowlen for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Pat would be the first to say it’s not just about him but a credit to the many players, coaches and executives he worked with over the years. We’re thankful to the Contributor Committee for recognizing the incredible impact Pat’s had on the NFL. As we look forward to the final vote, our family also congratulates Gil Brandt on his well-deserved nomination.”
STATEMENT FROM DENVER BRONCOS PRESIDENT & CEO JOE ELLIS
“We’re absolutely thrilled for Pat and the entire Bowlen family. There’s no question that Pat elevated the NFL, the Broncos and our region over the last three decades. He’s always had such modesty and humility, but he’s incredibly deserving of this selection and we appreciate the contributor committee nominating him. It’s very special to see Pat take such a significant step toward the Pro Football Hall of Fame.”
Bowlen’s impact at the team and league levels since being introduced as the Broncos’ owner in 1984 have earned him consideration as one of the most significant contributors in pro football history.
Helping the Broncos post more Super Bowl appearances (7) than losing seasons (6) during his ownership, Bowlen is the first owner in NFL history to reach 300 wins in his first 30 years. The Broncos have averaged 10.2 wins per season in 34 years under Bowlen, who enters 2018 tied for the fifth-most all-time wins (348) among all owners.
During Bowlen’s tenure, the Broncos have posted the second-best regular-season win percentage (.603 / 327-215-1) in the NFL and the third-best mark among all 122 major North American pro sports teams. He has helped the Broncos join the NBA’s Houston Rockets as the only franchises in professional sports to not have consecutive losing seasons during his tenure.
The only owner in NFL history to reach the Super Bowl with four different head coaches, Bowlen has led the Broncos to unprecedented sustained success over the last three decades. The Broncos’ accomplishments under Bowlen include 21 winning seasons, 18 playoff appearances, 13 division titles, nine conference championship berths, seven Super Bowl appearances and three World Championships (1997, 1998 & 2015).
In addition to his role with the Broncos, Bowlen has been heavily involved in the growth of professional football through his dedication at the league level.
Bowlen served a combined 91 seasons on 15 different NFL committees, including a role as role chairman of both the NFL Management Council Executive Committee and the NFL Broadcasting Committee. Only Pro Football Hall of Famers Dan Rooney (18) and Lamar Hunt (16) served on more NFL committees than Bowlen among owners.
As chairman of the NFL Broadcasting Committee, Bowlen helped negotiate record-breaking television contracts with national networks to help grow the game. Called the “Father of Sunday Night Football” by former NBC Sports Chairman Dick Ebersol, Bowlen was a key influencer in the 2006 launch of the NBC series that has become the most-watched program on television.
Bowlen’s important work on the NFL Management Council Executive Committee also helped ensure decades of labor peace with several extensions to the NFL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement.
The Broncos have become one of the most popular franchises in all of sports under Bowlen, selling out a league-high 292 games (every regular season and playoff contest) during his tenure. The Broncos have made an NFL-best 344 nationally televised appearances during Bowlen’s ownership, putting the Rocky Mountain Region on the national stage and earning “America’s Team” recognition in a 2014 national Harris Poll.
Bowlen has also been a strong advocate for the league’s international growth with the Broncos playing eight games in six different countries (3rd most in NFL) during his tenure.
A member of the Denver Broncos Ring of Fame (2015) and Colorado Sports Hall of Fame (2007), Bowlen has made a significant commitment to the community during his ownership. He has donated more than $30 million to charitable organizations through Broncos Charities and is responsible for the Broncos being the only pro sports team to fully fund its own branch of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.