Washington Commanders set for record takeover amid stadium plans

Featured image credit: Anders Krøgh Jørgensen on Unsplash

Tanya and Dan Snyder, co-owners of the Washington Commanders, have confirmed that an agreement has been reached to sell the NFL franchise to a group led by Josh Harris in a deal worth a reported $6.05bn (£4.8bn/€5.6bn).

The price would be a record for an NFL team and the deal comes as the Commanders explore plans for a new stadium. The team has a deal to play at FedExField in Maryland until September 2027. Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia have all been linked as potential locations for a new venue.

Dan Snyder has owned the team since 1999 and recently retained Bank of America Securities to explore a potential sale of the franchise. Harris co-owns the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers and the NHL’s New Jersey Devils.

A statement released by the Snyders on Friday night said: “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. We look forward to the prompt completion of this transaction and to rooting for Josh and the team in the coming years.”

Harris will now have an exclusive window to complete the deal, which will require approval from at least 24 of the 32 NFL team owners. The investment group includes Maryland businessman Mitchell Rales and NBA legend Magic Johnson.

Johnson tweeted: “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 (DC, Maryland, Virginia) community. I’m so excited to get to work on executing our vision for the Commanders and our loyal fan base.”

Harris added: “We look forward to the formal approval of our ownership by the NFL in the months ahead and to having the honour to serve as responsible and accountable stewards of the Commanders franchise moving forward.

“We look forward to running a world-class organisation and making significant investments on and off the field to achieve excellence and have a lasting and positive impact on the community.”

The $6.05bn price tag would surpass the $4.65bn the Walton-Penner family paid for the Denver Broncos in August last year.

It was reported in March that the race to be the future home of the Commanders is highly likely to include three jurisdictions through the disclosure that the NFL will support DC Mayor Muriel Bowser’s efforts to acquire the RFK Stadium site from the federal government.

RFK Stadium served as the home of the Washington Redskins (now Commanders) from 1961 to 1996 before the team moved to FedExField. The District officially bid farewell to the stadium in December, with the long-term future of the venue yet to be determined.