Record-Breaking $6 Billion Deal: Josh Harris-led Consortium Set to Acquire Washington Commanders

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Record-Breaking $6 Billion Deal: Josh Harris-led Consortium Set to Acquire Washington Commanders
Josh Harris

Josh Harris, owner of the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils, has agreed in principle to purchase the Washington Commanders from Dan Snyder for a record $6 billion. This deal, first reported by Sportico, would mark the end of Snyder’s tenure with the scandal-ridden team and allow the NFL to distance itself from a tumultuous period in league history.

The sale, which is subject to approval by the NFL’s finance committee and at least 24 of the 31 other team owners, includes billionaire Mitchell Rales and a group of limited partners featuring NBA legend Magic Johnson. The team has faced accusations of a toxic workplace environment and has struggled to secure a new stadium under Snyder’s ownership.

The NFL is currently conducting a second investigation into allegations of widespread sexual harassment against team executives, including Snyder, as well as potential financial improprieties. These issues, coupled with the inability to build a new stadium and backlash from fans, prompted many of the league’s other team owners to consider voting to force Snyder to sell the team.

Snyder and his wife, Tanya, began searching for a buyer in November 2022, and offers started to come in after Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay publicly stated that Snyder “needs to be removed.”

Over the years, Snyder has faced a series of scandals and legal challenges. In July 2020, the team changed its controversial name under pressure from sponsors, including FedEx. Subsequently, allegations of sexual harassment emerged, prompting Snyder to hire a Washington lawyer to investigate. The league quickly took over the investigation, which eventually led to a record $10 million fine and an order for Snyder to stay away from the team.

A congressional committee launched its own investigation into the team’s front office, uncovering new claims against Snyder. The league subsequently ordered a second investigation, led by former federal prosecutor Mary Jo White, but has yet to release the findings.

In November 2022, the U.S. attorney’s office in the Eastern District of Virginia opened a criminal investigation into allegations of financial improprieties by the team. Snyder and the team have also faced lawsuits from the attorneys general of Virginia and the District of Columbia, with the latter case being settled.

The Washington Commanders have struggled both on and off the field, with only six winning seasons and two playoff victories under Snyder’s ownership. Despite the team’s challenges, Forbes ranked the Commanders as the eighth most valuable sports team in 2022, ahead of the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers and the English Premier League’s Manchester United.

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