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Washington Commanders sale updates: Magic Johnson joins Josh Harris’ bid

The Washington Commanders have been put up for sale by embattled owner Daniel Snyder. This comes after more than a year of drama embroiling the organization, including workplace misconduct allegations and inquiries into financial wrongdoings on the part of the NFL team.

There is also a pretty big backdrop to all of this with other owners potentially looking to force Snyder out should he have a change of heart and take the Virginia-based organization off the market.

As you likely already know, selling an NFL franchise is a complicated matter with several different moving parts. Here, we will provide you an in-depth analysis of the Washington Commanders’ sale process with the latest updates and information.

Related: 2023 Washington Commanders mock draft

Latest Washington Commanders sale updates

Below, we will give you latest up to the minute updates about where the Commanders sale is headed with a ton of background information after that.

Magic Johnson in on Washington Commanders purchase

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According to Sportico, this Pro Basketball Hall of Famer has joined in with Josh Harris’ group as a potential buyer of the Commanders.

“The former NBA star and notable sports investor was also part of Harris’s failed bid for the NFL’s Denver Broncos last year. He is providing both money and expertise to the Commanders bid, said the people, who were granted anonymity because the details are private,” report on Magic Johnson joining bid to buy the Commanders.

As noted below, the Commanders’ sale is said to be in its final stages. NFL owners would like a resolution to the situation before the annual league meetings get going on March 26.

Johnson’s inclusion in Harris’ bid could up the ante here. In addition to being one of the greatest basketball players of all-time, Magic has done well for himself in the business side since retiring. He’s said to have a net worth of $620 Million.

Commanders sale said to be in final stages

If the Commanders ‘ sale was in the red zone before, JP Finlay now says the agreement is on “1st and Goal.” Previous reports indicated other NFL owners would like to see a resolution prior to the league’s annual owners meeting set to begin on March 26. If both reports are true, we could see a sale completed any day now.

Washington Commanders sale “imminent”

According to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, owners Dan and Tanya Snyder cleared out of the team facility back in December. Sources tell Florio that a potential sale is “imminent.”

At this point, we’re looking at a late March timeline for the deal to be approved. It would happen at the upcoming league meetings in Arizona from March 26-29. Right now, New Jersey Devils (NHL) and Philadelphia 76ers (NBA) owner Josh Harris is seen as the favorite.

Likely Washington Commanders sale price

washington commanders sale price
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Mike Ozanian of Forbes reported back in late December that Daniel Snyder had received offers “well north” of $7 billion for the Commanders. This would obviously represent a record for a North American professional sports franchise.

In fact, a sale of north of $7 billion would put Washington in some elite company among NFL organizations in terms of team valuations.

1Dallas Cowboys$8 billion
2New England Patriots$6.4 billion
3Los Angeles Rams$6.2 billion
4New York Giants$6 billion
5Chicago Bears$5.8 billion
NFL team values, via Fobes.com

As of right now, the Commanders rank sixth among NFL teams in value at $5.6 billion. That’s with one of the most run down venues in the league. Any new owner would look to build a state-of-the-art venue.

A more-recent report suggests that one unnamed party made a mere $5.5 billion offer for the Commanders. That’s well below the aforementioned $7 billion figure. Though, it would far surpass the record $4.65 billion that the Denver Broncos sold for last year.

Related: Washington Commanders dead last in NFLPA ‘team report cards’

Washington Commanders stadium situation

fedex field, washington commanders
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In our latest NFL stadiums rankings, Sportsnaut has FedEx Field as the worst venue out of all 30 around the league.

Any new NFL owner would work quickly to find an upgrade. After all, this venue broke ground all the way back in 1997 and is as run down as they get. From leaky sewer pipes to fans falling on opposing players, it really is a black eye around the league.

To his credit, Mr. Snyder has done everything possible to get a new venue erected. That includes releasing plans back in the spring of 2022 for a “mini city” in Prince William County, Virginia. This came after Washington announced that it had a deal in place to buy a 200-acre lot of land in the county for $100 million.

The Commanders’ lease with FedEx Stadium, roughly five miles from the nation’s capital, expires in 2027. Unfortunately, political leaders in the state of Virginia have continued to push back against a franchise-public relationship for a new Commanders venue.

The state of Maryland had offered a $400 million package to update the Commanders’ current venue. However, there’s also been push back about using public funds to build a new venue. Earlier this month, it was also noted that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell had conversations with D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) about her efforts to purchase the site of the franchise’s old RFK Stadium location. The idea here would be to build on in D.C. itself.

Either way, a new owner likely wouldn’t seek much (if any) public funding to build a new stadium. That clears some obstacles and would obviously increase the Commanders’ franchise value.

Related: NFL owners ‘concerned’ Washington Commanders sale process really a sham

Daniel Snyder’s role in the sale of the Washington Commanders

washington commanders sale, daniel snyder
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  • As Sportsnaut reported back in February, the Commanders’ sale could be in jeopardy because Snyder is apparently unhappy with the offers that have been made. As noted above, offers have come in far below that $7 billion figure.
  • Amazon co-founder and CEO Jeff Bezos has been mentioned more than any other potential suitor for the Commanders. At issue here is a beef with Mr. Synder. In addition to his role at Amazon, Bezos owns The Washington Post. It’s an outlet that has spearheaded several reports of organization-wide misconduct and financial wrongdoing.
  • As all of this takes place behind the scenes, NFL owners are renewing their efforts to forcefully remove Snyder. This is based on one of the many scandals facing the Commanders, including suggestions that he withheld revenue. Three-quarters of the league’s owners would have to vote in favor of removing Snyder, which would be a drastic step.

Related: Jeff Bezos favorite to purchase Washington Commanders, reportedly could partner with Jay-Z

Jeff Bezos, Josh Harris and candidates to buy the Washington Commanders

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ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported recently that Harris is the favorite to land the Commanders. The current owner of the New Jersey Devils and Philadelphia 76ers, Harris just brought in another billionaire in that of Mitchell Rales in a bid to buy the Commanders.

Rales, the co-founder of Fortune 500 company Danaher Corp, is said to be among the wealthiest individuals in the D.C. metro area with a net worth of $5.6 billion. For his part, Harris’ net worth is $6.3 billion.

Combined, the two pale in comparison from a financial perspective to Bezos. He’s the world’s second-wealthiest person behind Elon Mosk with a net worth of $171 billion, according to Forbes.

Despite the rift with Snyder, Bezos still remains a candidate to purchase the Commanders. As the old saying goes, “it’s all about the money.”

Tilman Fertitta, the owner of the NBA’s Houston Rockets, has reportedly already put in a bid for the Washington Commanders. In fact, he’s the individual that put in that aforementioned $5.5 billion bid.

Impact of Daniel Snyder investigations on Washington Commanders sale

NFL: Washington Commanders-Eric Bieniemy Introductory Press Conference
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  • D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine announced back in November that he is suing both the Commanders and NFL “for colluding to deceive residents of the District Columbia” regarding investigations into the team’s workplace. Racine is also suing, claiming a scheme regarding witholding refunds for Commanders season ticket holders.
  • The House Committee on Oversight and Reform held its own public hearings on allegations of workplace misconduct throughout the 2022 calendar year. Said investigation came to an end when Republicans took control of the House.
  • A federal grand jury is also convening under the guise of allegations that Snyder committed bank fraud in taking out a $55 million loan on behalf of the team without the approval of minority partners.

What does this all mean? Ongoing investigations from local, state and federal authorities could impact a sale being finalized. That’s especially true when it comes to said authorities looking into the finances.

Timeline for Washington Commanders sale

Charles Gasparino of Fox Business Network and the NY Post reported recently that the NFL wants final bids for the Commanders within two weeks. The “soft” deadline is late March when NFL owners meet.

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NFL owner meetings have existed under the backdrop of Commanders-centric scandals over the past couple years. In addition to talk about forcefully ousting Snyder, these meetings have been oftentimes heated. Obviously, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Co. would love to avoid this drama.

If bids are made by late March, it stands to reason that a sale could be finalized at some point before training camp opens during the summer.

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