The NFL’s Washington Commanders entered into a deal to be sold to a consortium led by private-equity financier and professional sports team owner Josh Harris, the sides announced Friday.
The deal is valued at approximately $6 billion, according to a person familiar with the matter who declined to be named as the terms weren’t made public. While the deal is still subject to the NFL’s approval, it would top last year’s $4.65 billion sale of the Denver Broncos to Walmart heir Rob Walton.
“League staff and the finance committee will review details of the proposed Washington transaction,” the NFL said. “Any transaction needs to be voted upon by the full membership with 24 of 32 votes needed to approve the sale.”
The deal comes months after team owner Dan Snyder hired investment bankers to explore a sale of the team, CNBC previously reported.
Snyder wasn’t being forced to sell the team despite mounting pressure among other owners to have him removed as owner. Snyder and the Commanders have been the subjects of recent probes by both the House Oversight Committee and the NFL for sexual harassment and financial misconduct.
Harris said he is determined to bring a Super Bowl title back to the franchise, which hasn’t been to the league’s championship game since 1992. Washington has won three Super Bowls in total, all during the 1980s and 1990s.
“I want to express how excited we are to be considered by the NFL to be the next owners of the Washington Commanders and how committed we are to delivering a championship-caliber franchise for this city and its fanbase,” Harris said in a statement on Friday.
Harris, who is a majority owner of the NBA’s Philadelphia Sixers and NHL’s New Jersey Devils, is partnering with NBA legend Magic Johnson and Mitch Rales, a longtime business partner.
The deal comes as there’s been calls for more Black ownership of NFL teams.
“I could not be more excited to be a partner in the proposed new ownership group for the Washington Commanders. Josh Harris has assembled an amazing group who share a commitment to not only doing great things on the field but to making a real impact in the DMV community. I’m so excited to get to work on executing our vision for the Commanders and our loyal fanbase!” Johnson tweeted on Friday.
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 aren’t listed in the press release announcing the deal. Harris will be the lead owner.
Read the full 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 the Washington Commanders from the Snyder family. The agreement is subject to NFL approval as well as the satisfaction of customary closing conditions.
Please see below for statements from Commanders Co-Owners Tanya and Dan Snyder and from Josh Harris on behalf of the Harris ownership group.
Statement from Commanders Co-Owners Tanya and Dan Snyder:
“We are very pleased to have reached an agreement for the sale of the Commanders franchise with Josh Harris, an area native, and his impressive group of partners”, said Tanya and Dan Snyder. “We look forward to the prompt completion of this transaction and to rooting for Josh and the team in the coming years.”
Statement from 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 to be the next owners of the Washington Commanders and how committed we are to delivering a championship-caliber franchise for this city and its fanbase.
Growing up in Chevy Chase, I experienced first-hand the excitement around the team, including its three Super Bowl victories and long-term winning culture. We look forward to the formal approval of our ownership by the NFL in the months ahead and to having the honor to serve as responsible and accountable stewards of the Commanders franchise moving forward.
Thank you to Tanya and Dan Snyder and the staff of the Commanders for their partnership and cooperation throughout the sale process.
In addition to Mitch, David and Magic our extraordinary ownership group includes – local business leader 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 Google CEO and Executive Chair and Andy Snyder amongst others. Together these individuals and families have the collective resources and shared commitment to support our vision for the Commanders.
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.