Thursday November 30, 2023

Commanders Bidders Told Owner Dan Snyder to Sell Controlling Stake

  • As talks have progressed, Snyder hasn't publicly stated that he'd follow through with the sale.
  • Amazon founder Jeff Bezos hasn't bid, but bankers continue to inquire about his interest.
Dan Snyder
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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Dan Snyder hasn’t officially said how much of the Washington Commanders — or even if — he will sell. 

The half-dozen bidders, however, have been told that Snyder plans to offload enough to clear the way for a new controlling owner, a person with knowledge of the situation told Front Office Sports. 

“They know he’s selling at least a majority stake in the team,” the source said. 

FOS reported on Sunday that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has yet to enter a formal bid for the Commanders. The first round of bidding closed before Christmas with the highest bid of $6.3 billion. 

Since it was announced in November that Snyder was “exploring all options” that included selling all or part of the team he’s owned since 1999, there has been no word from Snyder, the Commanders, or Bank of America — tapped to handle the transaction — what that would entail.


Jeff Bezos Has Yet to Officially Bid on Washington Commanders

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January 15, 2023

A Commanders spokesperson told FOS the team is “not commenting on anything related to a potential transaction.”

Talks of removing Snyder subsided since that announcement as owners and league executives told FOS in December that they expect Snyder to sell enough of the franchise for a new owner to take over control of the Commanders. 

There’s been a doubt in some circles that Snyder would ultimately relinquish control through a sale even as the team has faced multiple investigations, a handful of which remain ongoing. That includes the second outside NFL probe led by former SEC chief Mary Jo White. 

And while he has yet to fully enter the bidding, sources told FOS that Bank of America continues to court Bezos — even if there are indications that Snyder doesn’t want to sell to the second-richest person in the U.S. 

Snyder has been frustrated by the coverage from The Washington Post, which exposed the toxic workplace culture that led to renewed scrutiny of the team. Bezos has owned the newspaper since 2013. 

NBC Sports Washington reported Monday that Dan Snyder, and his wife, Tanya, would prefer to sell the team to somebody besides Bezos. 

After a bidder is chosen, the NFL’s finance committee reviews the application and makes a recommendation. From there it would head to a vote among all owners where at least 24 votes are required for approval.

A controlling owner needs to hold at least 30% of a team, according to the Constitution and Bylaws of the NFL. But since Snyder owns virtually all of the Commanders, any new owner would need to acquire at least half of the franchise to become the controlling owner.

While more is expected to be known in the coming weeks, there doesn’t appear to be a clear frontrunner for the team. 

NBC Sports Washington also reported that Todd Boehly had pulled out his effort to acquire the Commanders. Boehly purchased Chelsea FC last year, and he owns a piece of the Los Angeles Lakers, Dodgers, and Sparks. 

Dan Snyder

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Like Boehly, others interested in the Commanders also eyed an acquisition of the Denver Broncos last year. 

  • Josh Harris and David Blitzer — co-founders of HB Sports & Entertainment, which owns the New Jersey Devils and Philadelphia 76ers — have had talks about the Commanders. 
  • Clearlake Capital co-founders Behdad Eghbali and José Feliciano, who offered $900 million to purchase a 40% stake in the Commanders in 2020, also have expressed interest during the current sales process. 

Some have estimated the Commanders could go for as much as $8 billion, but the cost of a new stadium with no clear path toward a significant portion being publicly financed has depressed some of the early bids, sources told FOS.

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