Washington Commanders to be bought to Josh Harris

A general view of fans in front of the Washington Commanders logo during the first half of the game between the Washington Commanders and the Philadelphia Eagles at FedExField on September 25, 2022 in Landover, Maryland.

Scott Taetsch | Getty Images

The NFL’s Washington Commanders have finalized a deal to sell them to a consortium led by private equity financier and professional sports team owner Josh Harris, the two sides announced Friday.

The deal is valued at about $6 billion, according to a person familiar with the matter, who declined to be named because the terms were not made public. While the deal still requires NFL approval, it would surpass last year’s $4.65 billion sale of the Denver Broncos to Walmart heir Rob Walton.

“League officials and the Finance Committee will review details of the proposed Washington transaction,” the NFL said. “Each transaction must be voted on by the entire membership, with 24 out of 32 votes required to approve the sale.”

The deal comes months after team owner Dan Snyder hired investment bankers to look into a sale, CNBC previously reported.

Snyder was not forced to sell the team, despite mounting pressure from other owners to depose him as owner. Snyder and the Commanders have been the subject of recent investigations by both the House Oversight Committee and the NFL related to allegations of sexual harassment and financial misconduct.

Harris said he is determined to bring back a Super Bowl title to the franchise, which has not played in a championship game since 1992. Washington has won three Super Bowls in total, all in the 1980s and 1990s.

“I want to express how excited we are that the NFL will be the next owners of the Washington Commanders and how committed we are to providing this city and its fanbase with a championship-level franchise,” Harris said in a statement on Friday.

Josh Harris, managing partner of the Philadelphia 76ers, stands on the field prior to Game 1 of an NBA basketball first round playoff series against the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday, April 15, 2023 in Philadelphia.

Derik Hamilton | AP

Harris, majority owner of the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers and the NHL’s New Jersey Devils, works with NBA legend Magic Johnson and Mitch Rales, a longtime business partner.

The deal comes amid calls for more black property from NFL teams.

“I couldn’t be more excited to be a partner in the proposed new Washington Commanders ownership group,” Johnson tweeted on Friday. “Josh Harris has assembled an amazing group that is not only committed to doing great things on the field, but to making a real impact on the DMV community and a loyal fanbase!”

The DMV refers to the greater Washington area, which includes the Districts of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.

Other members of the new ownership group include Michael Sapir, CEO of ProShares, and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt. There are other partners in the group not listed in the press release announcing the deal. Harris will be the primary owner.

Read the full press release announcing the deal:

The Washington Commanders and a partnership led by Josh Harris have entered into a purchase and sale agreement, they jointly announced on Friday, May 12.

The purchase and sale agreement provides that Harris and partners will acquire the Washington Commanders from the Snyder family. The agreement is subject to NFL approval and the satisfaction of customary closing conditions.

Below are statements from Commanders co-owners Tanya and Dan Snyder and Josh Harris on behalf of the Harris Ownership Group.

Statement from Commanders co-owners Tanya and Dan Snyder:

“We are extremely pleased to have reached an agreement to sell the Commanders franchise with Josh Harris, a local native, and his impressive group of partners,” said Tanya and Dan Snyder. “We look forward to the speedy completion of this transaction and to keeping our fingers crossed for Josh and the team in the years to come.”

Statement by Josh Harris on behalf of the Harris Ownership Group:

On behalf of our entire ownership group — including Mitch Rales, my longtime sports business partner David Blitzer, and Earvin Magic Johnson — I want to express how excited and committed we are to be considered by the NFL as the next owner of the Washington Commanders We are We want to provide a championship-level franchise for this city and its fanbase.

Growing up at Chevy Chase, I witnessed firsthand the excitement surrounding the team, including their three Super Bowl victories and long-term winning culture. We look forward to the formal approval of our ownership by the NFL in the coming months and to the honor of continuing to serve as responsible and accountable stewards of the Commanders franchise.

Many thanks to Tanya and Dan Snyder and the staff at Commanders for their partnership and collaboration throughout the sales process.

In addition to Mitch, David and Magic, our exceptional ownership group includes local business leader Mark Ein, Lee Ainslie, Eric Holoman, Michael Li, owner of Range Group, Morgan family, owner of Morgan Properties, Santo Domingo family, Michael Sapir, among others Co-founder and CEO of ProShares, Eric Schmidt, former CEO and Executive Chair of Google and Andy Snyder. Collectively, these individuals and families have the shared resources and commitment to support our vision for Commanders.

We look forward to leading a world-class organization and making significant investments on and off the field to achieve excellence and have a lasting and positive impact on the community.

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