Harris group finalizes deal to buy Commanders

  • Covered the Redskins for the Washington Examiner and other media outlets since 1994
  • Authored or co-authored three books on the Redskins and one on the Cleveland Browns

A group led by Josh Harris, the co-owner of the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers and NHL’s New Jersey Devils, reached an agreement to buy the Washington Commanders from previous owners Dan and Tanya Snyder, the sides 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 had been set in August, when a group led by Walmart heir Rob Walton bought the Denver Broncos for $4.65 billion.

The purchase and sale agreement agreed to by the sides Friday is subject to NFL approval. It likely won’t be approved at the earliest until the next league meetings, scheduled for May 22-24 in Minneapolis.

The Snyders had reached a preliminary nonexclusive agreement to sell the franchise to Harris on April 14. At the time, the deal was fully financed but had not yet been signed.

“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,” the Snyders said in a statement. “We look forward to the prompt completion of this transaction and to rooting for Josh and the team in the coming years.”

Harris, who grew up in Bethesda, Maryland, co-founded Apollo Management — an asset management firm — in 1990. He has a net worth of $5.8 billion, according to Forbes. Mitchell Rales, who has a net worth of $5.5 billion, and Hall of Fame basketball player Magic Johnson are also part of Harris’ group.

“On behalf of our entire ownership group … 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. “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.”

The deal for the Commanders also includes FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland, as well as the team’s practice facility in Ashburn, Virginia. The Commanders have been seeking a new stadium somewhere in the D.C. area. According to multiple people involved in the process, Dan Snyder’s presence — and the investigations into him and the franchise — had stalled the process in the last year.

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

Jeff Bezos, who had interest, did not make a bid for the team.

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