Group Led By Josh Harris Completes Deal To Buy Commanders

Group Led By Josh Harris Completes Deal To Buy Commanders – ESPN – ESPN

John KeimESPN Staff Writer May 12, 2023 4:28pm ET6 minutes read

RGIII is pleased to announce that Dan Snyder has announced the sale of Commanders

Robert Griffin III happily bangs his fist as he reacts to the news that Dan Snyder has announced the sale of the Commanders.

A group led by Josh Harris, co-owner of the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers and the NHL’s New Jersey Devils, has reached an agreement to buy the Washington Commanders from previous owners Dan and Tanya Snyder, the two sides announced on Tuesday announced Friday.

The group agreed to pay a record $6.05 billion for the team, sources told ESPN. The previous record sale for a franchise was set in August when a group led by Walmart heir Rob Walton bought the Denver Broncos for $4.65 billion.

The settlement reached Friday between Harris’ group and the Snyders is subject to NFL approval. The earliest it will likely be approved is the next league meetings scheduled for May 22-23 in Minneapolis. Consent of at least three-quarters of the league’s owners and other customary closing conditions are required to proceed.

The Snyders reached a tentative, nonexclusive agreement to sell the franchise to Harris on April 14. At this point, the deal was fully funded but not signed.

“We are extremely pleased to have reached an agreement with Josh Harris, a local native, and his impressive group of partners to sell the Commanders franchise,” the Snyders said in a statement. “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.”

Harris, who grew up in Maryland, co-founded Apollo Management – an asset management firm – in 1990. According to Forbes, he has a net worth of $5.8 billion. Also in Harris’ group are Mitchell Rales, who has a net worth of $5.5 billion, David Blitzer, who co-owns part of the English Premier League’s Crystal Palace FC with Harris, and NBA Hall of Famer Magic Johnson. The group also includes at least 12 limited partners.

“On behalf of our entire ownership group…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 delivering a championship-level franchise to this city.” .” his fanbase,” Harris said in a statement.

“Growing up at Chevy Chase, I saw 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 until I have the honor to serve as responsible and accountable stewards of the Commanders franchise going forward.

The Commanders’ contract also includes FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland and the team’s practice facility in Ashburn, Virginia. The Commanders have been scouting for a new stadium somewhere in the DC area. According to several people involved in the process, the presence of Dan Snyder – and the investigations into him and the franchise – had stalled the process for the past year.

Steve Apostolopoulos, a Canadian billionaire, and Tilman Fertitta, owner of the NBA’s Houston Rockets, were among the other groups who had bid on the Commanders. Another anonymous group made an offer for the team after touring the facilities, sources told ESPN.

Jeff Bezos, who was interested, didn’t make an offer for the team.

Washington’s franchise, which hasn’t won a playoff game in 18 years, once created a lot of value. From 1971 to 1992, the team competed in five Super Bowls and won three. The franchise finished the regular season with 13 double-digit wins and just two losing records. In 1988, after the second Super Bowl win, the team stated that the waiting list for tickets at RFK Stadium, which was home there until 1996, was nearly 39,000.

But the last three years have been one of the most chaotic periods — if not the most chaotic — in franchise history thanks to a series of off-field troubles. The franchise announced in July 2020 that it was retiring its previous nickname. Later that month, the Washington Post ran a report that uncovered episodes of sexual harassment by former team members and highlighted a work culture that was considered toxic. This led to an investigation into the situation by the NFL, several stories that brought to light more conflict and allegations, and ultimately the franchise being fined $10 million by the league.

In October 2021, the House Oversight and Reform Committee, led by former Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), began investigating the commanders. This investigation resulted in an indictment against Snyder for sexual misconduct in addition to financial irregularities on his part. This led to Attorneys General in Virginia and the District of Columbia launching their own investigations. Later, the US Attorney’s Office in Virginia’s Eastern District opened a criminal investigation into allegations of financial inadequacy by the commanders.

Snyder named his wife Tanya co-CEO in 2020 and she has been the public face of the franchise ever since. She represented the team in league events for more than a year. The last time Dan Snyder spoke publicly was on February 2, 2022, when he unveiled the team’s new name.

For a long time, NFL owners seemed unwilling to vote one of their own players out for the first time in league history. But at league meetings in October, Colts owner Jim Irsay said of Snyder, “It makes sense to remove him as an owner.” According to several league sources, there was growing fatigue among the commanders.

The Snyders issued a statement during this period, insisting they would never sell. In November, they abruptly changed their minds when they announced the team was up for sale.

Dan Snyder led a group that bought the team in 1999 for $800 million. He came to the NFL as a young, ambitious businessman who grew up a die-hard fan of the franchise.

Washington won the NFC East title that season by a record 10-6, but the franchise has never been able to maintain that success under Snyder. At the beginning of his tenure, he became known through coaching changes and the commitment of well-known free agents. For the first five years he managed the team, he fired Norv Turner in 2000 and Marty Schottenheimer a year later, and ensured Steve Spurrier’s resignation after two seasons.

Snyder’s first free-agent class included notable veterans such as future Hall of Famers Deion Sanders and Bruce Smith. Washington later gave free-agent defense attorney Albert Haynesworth a then-record $41 million in guaranteed money.

But the aggressive nature didn’t translate into success, even though Snyder also hired coaches like Joe Gibbs, coach of three Super Bowl championships in Washington, and Mike Shanahan, who won two Super Bowls in Denver.

Washington never won more than 10 games in a season and only reached that number three times in his 24 years. They haven’t won more than nine games since 2012. During Snyder’s tenure, Washington reached a record of 2-6 in the playoff games; it has not won a playoff game since 2005 under Gibbs.

The Commanders finished last season 8-8-1 under coach Ron Rivera, entering his fourth year as coach.