The Washington Commanders are one step closer to having new owners.

On Friday afternoon the organization and a group of potential buyers led by Josh Harris announced that they have entered into a purchase and sale agreement. The potential new ownership group is led by Harris, the owner and founder of Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment (HBSE) currently owns and operates two other professional sports franchises, the New Jersey Devils, and the Philadelphia 76ers.

Other members of the new potential ownership group include Mitch Rales, David Blitzer, and Magic Johnson.

The involved parties released a joint statement on Friday.

“On behalf of our entire ownership group — including Mitch Rales, my longtime sports business partner David Blitzer and Earvin Magic Johnson — 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,” said Harris.

“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,” he added. “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.”

Current co-owners Dan and Tanya Snyder had this to say:

“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.”

Dan Snyder bought the franchise in 1999 for $800 million. The reported price of the Commanders is $6.05 billion, a record. That tops the previous record of $4.65 billion set when Rob Walton’s group bought the Denver Broncos a year ago.

The deal will have to be approved by a vote of the current league owners, with 24 votes necessary for approval. The spring league meeting is set for the end of the month.

According to an update from Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network late Friday afternoon, the owners will receive an update on the potential sale at the May meeting. Should the sale not be ready for a final vote, owners will reconvene at a later date:

Snyder had long maintained that he would not sell the team, but continued investigations by both the league and Congress into the workplace environment within the organization put pressure on him to sell the franchise. A congressional investigation found that Snyder was responsible for fostering a toxic workplace environment, and the slew of inquiries into the Commanders’ workplace environment and litigation regarding season ticket holders led some owners, most notably Jim Irsay, to suggest it might be time to remove Snyder.

Following that suggestion by Irsay, it was announced that the Snyders were exploring a potential sale of the Commanders.


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