Washington Commanders to be Sold for Record-Breaking $6 Billion to Josh Harris and Investment Group

The Washington Commanders, NFL team owned by Dan Snyder, is set to be sold to Josh Harris for $6 billion, according to reports.[0] Harris, who owns the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers and NHL's New Jersey Devils, is part of an investment group that includes D.C.-area billionaire Mitchell Rales and Basketball Hall of Famer Magic Johnson.[1] The sale price would set a record for the priciest team sale in North American sports franchise history, surpassing the $4.65 billion sale of the Denver Broncos last year.[2] The sale would also mark the end of Snyder's 24-year ownership tenure, which has been plagued by controversies and scandals.[3] The ongoing probes into inappropriate conduct at work and financial irregularities brought the potential motion to dismiss Snyder from his position into focus.[4] A sale, however, has always been the NFL's preferred outcome.[4]

Harris, who co-owns the NHL's New Jersey Devils and is currently a minority owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, is the head of an investment group that includes Rales and Johnson.[0] Approval from the league's finance committee and a minimum of 75% of NFL team owners is necessary for any franchise sale to be completed in the NFL. While a deal has yet to be sent to the league for approval, a finalized sale is expected if all goes well.[5] Any sale of an NFL franchise would need to be approved by the NFL's finance committee and at least 24 of the league's 32 owners.

In 1999, Snyder acquired the Washington Redskins for a whopping $800 million.[6] Despite being involved in various controversies, he continues to be under scrutiny from multiple investigations.[6] During his tenure, Washington has recorded a 164-220-2 record and a 2-6 record in the playoffs.[6] In recent years, there has been a significant decline in fan interest towards the franchise that was once highly adored.[6] The pressure to remove Snyder increased as investigations into workplace misconduct and financial impropriety mounted. Removing him is a complex procedure that could establish a precedent for ousting other NFL owners in the future.[3]

Harris, co-founder of Apollo Global Management and team owner of the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers and NHL's New Jersey Devils, bid $5.6 billion for the franchise.[7] No terms have been submitted to the league, and Harris' prospective purchase will still need to be approved by at least 24 NFL owners.[8] Snyder has not informed the NFL he is selling just yet, but the hope is an agreement will be reached in the coming weeks.[4] It is anticipated that the approval aspect of the agreement will be a mere formality as Harris underwent thorough evaluation when he pursued the acquisition of the Broncos in the previous year.[4] Once the sale is approved, Harris will need to sell his minority stake in the Pittsburgh Steelers before taking over the Commanders.[9]

0. “Report: Steelers' Minority Owner Potentially ‘Nearing A Deal' To Buy Commanders” Steelers Depot, 13 Apr. 2023, https://steelersdepot.com/2023/04/report-steelers-minority-owner-potentially-nearing-a-deal-to-buy-commanders/

1. “Dan Snyder, Josh Harris group reach agreement on Commanders sale for $6.05 billion” NFL.com, 13 Apr. 2023, https://www.nfl.com/news/dan-snyder-nearing-deal-with-josh-harris-group-to-sell-washington-commanders-fra

2. “Washington Commanders owner agrees to sell team for $6 billion” CBS News, 13 Apr. 2023, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/washington-commanders-sale-nfl-josh-harris/

3. “Josh Harris Reaches $6 Billion Deal to Buy NFL’s Commanders” Sportico, 13 Apr. 2023, https://www.sportico.com/business/team-sales/2023/josh-harris-com-1234698114/

4. “Josh Harris Raises Bid, In Position To Buy Commanders” profootballrumors.com, 14 Apr. 2023, https://www.profootballrumors.com/2023/04/josh-harris-nearing-agreement-to-buy-commanders

5. “Dan Snyder to Sell Washington Commanders for $6.05 Billion: Report” PEOPLE, 14 Apr. 2023, https://people.com/sports/dan-snyder-to-sell-washington-commanders-to-josh-harris-and-magic-johnson-report/

6. “Washington Commanders: Snyder agrees to sell to Josh Harris for $6B” USA Today, 13 Apr. 2023, https://commanderswire.usatoday.com/2023/04/13/washington-commanders-sale-dan-snyder-josh-harris-deal/

7. “Reports: Dan Snyder reaches preliminary agreement to sell Washington Commanders to 76ers owner Josh Harris for $6B” Yahoo Sports, 13 Apr. 2023, https://sports.yahoo.com/reports-dan-snyder-reaches-preliminary-agreement-to-sell-washington-commanders-to-76ers-owner-josh-harris-for-6b-172133579.html

8. “Dan Snyder sells Commanders to Josh Harris for $6 billion” 106.7 The Fan, 13 Apr. 2023, https://www.audacy.com/thefandc/sports/washington-commanders/dan-snyder-sells-commanders-to-josh-harris-for-usd6-billion

9. “Aldridge: Josh Harris is not Dan Snyder. That’s more than enough for Commanders … for now” The Athletic, 13 Apr. 2023, https://theathletic.com/4341579/2023/04/13/commanders-sale-josh-harris-dan-snyder-aldridge

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