April 21, 2024

Dan Snyder’s beleaguered tenure owning the Washington Commanders appears to be nearing the finish line.

An agreement has been reached for a $6.05 billion sale from Snyder to a group including Wall Street titan Josh Harris, billionaire Mitchell Rales and NBA legend Magic Johnson, according to multiple reports, though a deal is not yet finalized.

ESPN, meanwhile, reports Canadian billionaire Steve Apostopolous is still embroiled in the sales process.

Nonetheless, the ESPN report also indicated a sale from Snyder is near and that the Harris group is “optimistic” it will take over the team.

The $6.05 billion figure would be a record for the highest price paid for a North American sports team, far surpassing the $4.65 billion the Broncos sold for last year.

The deal also includes FedEx Field in Landover, Md., and the team’s Ashburn, Va. practice facility.

The sale likely won’t be complete until the league meetings in late May; an eight-member finance committee will look over the papers work and then the 31 other team owners will vote.

Harris, 58, also owns the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils.

Harris co-founded the private equity firm Apollo Capital Management but left the group in 2022. 

His net worth is estimated at $7.63 billion by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. 

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos was said Wednesday to not be mounting a bid for the franchise.

There have been reports that Snyder, upset about the Washington Post’s coverage of both his own conduct and general scandals within the franchise over the years, froze Bezos, the paper’s owner, out of the bidding process

There has been speculation that Bezos would be interested in purchasing the Seahawks, based in Seattle, also the home of Amazon, should they come up for sale from a charitable trust of late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen that is now controlled by his sister, Jody. 

Snyder’s Commanders did not excite on the field.

During the 58-year-old’s tenure as owner, which began in 1999, they went 164-220-2 in the regular season and 2-6 in the playoffs. 

There have also been a litany of scandals involving Snyder and the Commanders over the years.

It emerged in March that Snyder took a $55 million loan under the team’s name, without telling Commanders minority owners about it, and billed the franchise $4.5 million to put its logo on his own private jet, and $10 million to lease it. 

Last December, the US House Committee on Oversight and Reform published a report that accused the Commanders of having a “toxic work culture” for over 20 years and that Snyder played a direct role in it.

The report claimed that Snyder inappropriately touched a former employee at a dinner, instructed staffers to produce “sexually suggestive footage of cheerleaders,” and decreed that women who were auditioning to be cheerleaders had to walk on the field “while he and his friends gawked from his suite through binoculars.”

He was also accused of interfering with House and NFL investigations.

Nevertheless, Snyder appears to be executing the sale of his own volition as opposed to being outright forced out.

The Post reported in March that the coalition that wanted to force Snyder to sell the team did not have the required three-quarters of the NFL ownership ranks on board.