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Friday, June 14, 2024

Dan Snyder Is Exploring Sale of Washington Commanders

  • Snyder and his wife, co-CEO Tanya, announced on Wednesday that they have hired Bank of America “to consider potential transactions.”
  • A source with knowledge of the situation told Front Office Sports a full sale of the team remains more than a possibility.
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Commanders are headed for a possible sale. 

Commanders owner Dan Snyder and his wife, co-CEO Tanya Snyder, announced in a news release on Wednesday that they have hired Bank of America “to consider potential transactions.”

While that could mean a partial sale, a source with knowledge of the situation told Front Office Sports a full sale of the team remains more than a possibility amid five active investigations and given the overall tumult in Dan Snyder’s 23-plus years as owner.

“He had no choice,” one source told FOS.

In their statement, the Snyders said they “remain committed to the team, all of its employees and its countless fans to putting the best product on the field and continuing the work to set the gold standard for workplaces in the NFL.”

“We are exploring all options,” a Commanders spokesperson told FOS.

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The Snyders own the entire team that Forbes values at $5.6 billion.

But the team is expected to fetch closer to $6 billion, even if it has sunk from one of the NFL’s prestige franchises into mediocrity and its outdated stadium needs to be replaced.

If a majority stake is sold, multiple sources told FOS that there’s a leading candidate: Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

FOS first reported Bezos’ talks to acquire a chunk of the team in February 2021, and Bezos appears to still be interested.

The news of a potential sale comes two weeks after Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay told reporters at the NFL owners meetings that “there is merit to removing” Snyder. While owners had anonymously told FOS and other outlets the same thing, Irsay was the first NFL owner to publicly state such.

“I just think that once owners talk amongst each other they will arrive at the right decision,” Irsay said. “Unfortunately, that’s the road that we need to go down.”

It’d take 24 owners to vote to approve Snyder’s removal, which could become a messy process with potential litigation involved. Multiple owners told FOS that the easiest path toward new ownership of the Commanders would be pressuring Snyder to offload the team he purchased for $800 million in 1999.

Twenty-four owners are also needed to approve a sale of the team under the NFL’s constitution and bylaws.

“Any potential transaction would have to be presented to the NFL Finance Committee for review and require an affirmative vote by three quarters of the full membership,” NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy said in a statement to FOS and other outlets.

The announcement by the team comes as results of the House Oversight Committee’s investigation and the NFL’s outside investigation are expected to be released in the coming weeks. The attorneys general in Virginia, D.C., and Maryland also have active probes into the team’s alleged financial irregularities.

Former SEC chief Mary Jo White is leading the NFL’s current investigation.

“Mary Jo White is continuing her review,” McCarthy said. “We have no update on a timeline.”

While Bank of America would appear to be an odd choice given the financial institution isn’t a go-to for such transactions, it is one of the main banks utilized by Snyder. Bank of America helped Dan Snyder pay close to $1 billion to buy out the 40% of the team he didn’t already own last year.

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