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 entered into an agreement to be sold to a consortium led by private financier and professional sports team owner Josh Harris, the parties announced Friday.
The deal is valued at about $6 billion, according to a person familiar with the matter who declined to be named because terms were not disclosed. Although the deal is still subject to NFL approval, it would surpass last year’s $4.65 billion sale of the Denver Broncos to Walmart heir Rob Walton.
“League staff and the finance committee will review the details of the proposed Washington transaction,” the NFL said. “Any transaction must be voted on by the full membership with 24 of the 32 votes needed to approve the sale.”
The deal comes months after team owner Dan Snyder hired investment bankers to explore a sale, This was reported earlier by CNBC.
Snyder was not forced to sell the team despite mounting pressure between other owners to be removed as an owner. Snyder and the commanders were subject recent probes both House Oversight Committee and the NFL surrounding allegations of sexual harassment and financial misconduct.
Harris said he is determined to bring a Super Bowl title back to the franchise, which hasn’t been in a championship since 1992. Washington has won a total of three Super Bowls, all during the 1980s and 1990s.
“I want to express how excited we are to be considered by the NFL as the next owner of the Washington Commanders and how committed we are to providing this city and its fan base with a championship-caliber franchise,” Harris said in a statement on the website Friday.
Philadelphia 76ers executive Josh Harris stands courtside before Game 1 of the first-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Brooklyn Nets, Saturday, April 15, 2023, in Philadelphia.
Derik Hamilton | AP
Harris, who is the majority owner of the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers and the NHL’s New Jersey Devils, works with NBA legend Magic Johnson and longtime business partner Mitch Rales.
The deal comes amid calls for greater ownership of black NFL teams.
“I couldn’t be more excited to be a partner in the proposed new Washington Commanders ownership group,” Johnson he tweeted on Friday. “Josh Harris has assembled an amazing group that shares a commitment to not only do great things on the field, but to make a real impact in the DMV community. I am so excited to work on our vision for the Commanders and our loyal fan base!”
The DMV refers to the Washington metro area, which includes the District 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 who are not listed in the press release announcing the deal. Harris will be the principal owner.
Read the full news release announcing the deal:
The Washington Commanders and a partnership led by Josh Harris have entered into a purchase and sale agreement, it was jointly announced on Friday, May 12th.
The purchase and sale agreement calls for Harris and Partners to acquire Washington Commanders from the Snyder family. The contract is subject to NFL approval as well as customary closing conditions.
Below is a statement from co-owners Tanya and Dan Snyder and Josh Harris on behalf of the Harris Ownership Group.
A statement from co-owners Tanya and Dan Snyder:
“We are very pleased to have reached an agreement to sell the Commanders franchise with local native Josh Harris and his impressive group of partners,” said Tanya and Dan Snyder. “We look forward to completing this transaction quickly and supporting Josh and the team for 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 we are to be considered by the NFL as the next owner of the Washington Commanders and how committed we are to this city and its fan base deliver a championship-caliber franchise.
Growing up in Chevy Chase, I experienced firsthand the excitement surrounding the team, including its three Super Bowl victories and long-standing winning culture. We look forward to formal approval of our ownership by the NFL in the coming months and to the honor of serving as responsible and accountable stewards of the Commanders franchise moving forward.
Thank you to Tanya and Dan Snyder and the Commanders staff for their partnership and cooperation throughout the sale process.
In addition to Mitch, David and Magic, our extraordinary ownership group includes local business leaders Mark Ein, Lee Ainslie, Eric Holoman, Michael Li, owner of Range Group, the Morgan family, owners of Morgan Properties, the Santo Domingo family, Michael Sapir, Co-Founder and CEO of ProShares , Eric Schmidt, former CEO and Executive Chairman of Google, and Andy Snyder, among others. Together, these individuals and families have shared resources and a shared commitment to support our commanders’ vision.
We look forward to running 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.