Dan Snyder Will Proceed With Sale Of Washington Commanders To Josh Harris

Dan and Tanya Snyder agreed Friday to sell the Washington Commanders to an investment group led by Josh Harris, leaving the NFL to sign off on the proposed $6 billion sale.

The two sides had reached a tentative agreement a month earlier, but the non-exclusive deal gave Snyder the ability to continue looking for other bidders or even walk away.

On Friday, Harris and his group said they have entered into a buy-and-sell agreement for a sports franchise if approved by the NFL’s finance committee and at least three-quarters of the league’s 31 other team owners. Will set a record value.

“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,” Tanya and Dan Snyder said in a joint statement. “We look forward to the speedy completion of this transaction and to the passion and team for years to come.”

In a statement on behalf of his ownership group, which also includes Magic Johnson, Harris said, “We look forward to the formal acceptance of our ownership by the NFL in the coming months and the honor of serving as a responsible and accountable steward of the company.” Looking forward to taking the Commanders franchise forward.”

The announcement came two days after the league’s finance committee met in New York to evaluate the contours of the deal. The full contingent of NFL owners could be briefed on the proposed agreement when they meet in Minneapolis on May 22 and 23 and vote on the deal in the coming months.

“The League Staff and Finance Committee will review the details of the proposed Washington transaction,” league spokesman Brian McCarthy said in a statement.

But approval is not given.

Members of the finance committee reviewing the proposed deal on Wednesday were concerned that the debt in the Harris bid exceeded the league’s debt limit, according to two people who attended the meeting.

According to NFL rules, the purchase of teams cannot involve more than $1.1 billion in debt. The Harris Group has agreed to pay a record-setting $6 billion, about $1.4 billion more than the previous record of $4.65 billion paid last year by the Walton-Penner families to the Denver Broncos, who acquired the franchise through their stakes in Walmart. acquired his wealth largely from

The Harris group would need a waiver of the league’s financing rules if the debt involved in their deal exceeded the limit. They could also change the structure of the system.

In recent weeks, the Snyders had been seeking protection from an ongoing outstanding league investigation led by Mary Jo White, who was hired by the NFL to look into allegations of financial wrongdoing and sexual assault at the club. The NFL has not announced a timeline for the release of that report.

But Harris has agreed not to protect Snyders from any league penalties that may arise as a result of the NFL’s investigation into the sexual assault allegations, according to a person with knowledge of the agreement who has been reluctant to speak publicly about its details. was not authorized. The league has not agreed to compensate Snyder, according to another person with knowledge of the settlement.

Prosecutors for the District of Columbia and Virginia have also opened inquiries about the team.

If the sale is approved, Harris’ group could soon consider upgrading FedEx Field, which opened in 1997 and has been plagued by pipe leaks and other structural failures, or building a new stadium in the Washington area. Was. Either option would require billions of dollars in additional funding.

Harris, whose investment group already owns the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers, the NHL’s New Jersey Devils and the English Premier League’s Crystal Palace, assembled a large group of investors to buy the Commanders, which is worth more than the other three clubs combined.

His group includes Johnson, NBA Hall of Famer and co-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers; David Blitzer, Head of Strategic Opportunities, Blackstone; Mitchell Rails, a real estate investor from the Washington area; and Eric Schmidt, former executive chairman of Google.