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Washington Commanders accused of withholding ticket revenue from NFL

Matt Johnson
Washington Commanders
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Commanders are now facing accusations of withholding ticket revenue from the National Football League in an alleged scheme reportedly created to keep money away from the NFL in recent years.

Already the subject of an investigation from the House Committee on Oversight and Reform for the Commanders’ toxic culture under team owner Daniel Snyder. Washington now finds itself being investigated for alleged financial improprieties.

According to A.J. Perez of Front Office Sports, the House Oversight Committee received information alleging Snyder’s team withheld ticket revenue from home games meant to be shared with other NFL teams.

As stated in the NFL bylaws, each team is required to distribute 40% of its revenue from ticket sales from each home game to the league. The funds are then passed along to the visiting teams, who receive a portion of the revenue for helping bring fans to the stadium.

According to two sources Front Office Sports spoke to, the Commanders didn’t provide the full 40% to the NFL. However, it’s not known for exactly how many years Washington is accused of withholding money from the NFL nor specific figures on how much they might have kept out of the hands of other NFL teams.

The Commanders already have a checkered history with the league and Snyder is on shaky ground. He was fined $10 million by the NFL and pushed out of day-to-day operations – with his wife taking over – after an NFL investigation found years of improper conduct and sexual harassment by team officials.

Snyder is now facing a second investigation after being directly accused of sexual misconduct. SIx former team employees have made allegations against Snyder, with all of them speaking to the U.S. House of representatives’ Oversight Committee as part of its investigation.

While Snyder avoided being removed from his position following the last NFL investigation, it is on the table in 2022 with that report coming before news broke of the financial investigation.

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NFL: New York Giants at Washington Football Team
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell made it clear this offseason, the league has the ability to remove an owner from his position. It became a point of discussion because of the NFL’s investigation into Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, who is accused of offering former head coach Brian Flores $100,000 for losing games in 2019.

The allegations of an NFL owner incentivizing his head coach to tank games jeopardize the league’s integrity. If the NFL’s investigators determine there is any merit to the claims made by Flores – allegations he provided evidence to support – team owners could push to have Ross removed.

NFL owners operate these teams as a business and the record-setting revenue the league enjoys makes it very profitable. At a time when the NFL is partnered with BetMGM, FOX Bet, DraftKings, FanDuel and Caseras Entertainment, it needs to maintain integrity. Ross’s alleged actions would put billions of dollars in jeopardy for the NFL long-term.

The latest allegations against the Commanders would likely be viewed in a similar light by NFL owners. If there is evidence that shows Washington withheld money that belonged to other teams, it’s taking revenue away from the league and its clubs.

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It also impacts players. The money teams receive from ticket sales is a part of the yearly NFL revenue that determines the salary cap each season. If the Commanders withheld millions of dollars, it would have lowered the cap each year. It’s something the NFL will investigate, with owners and the NFL Players Association both keeping a close eye on the findings.

All of this comes at a time when Snyder has reportedly resumed day-to-day operations of the club despite Goodell stating the opposite this past week. It all spells trouble for the Washington Commanders.