• Loading stock data...
Thursday, February 22, 2024
Register Now for Future of Sports: Cybersecurity
exclusive
Teams

Investigations Won’t Likely Hinder a Speedy Commanders Sale

  • A group headed by Jeff Bezos is among five groups that have already expressed interest in the Commanders.
  • Owner Dan Snyder expected to put money aside in an escrow account if penalties arise from probes.
Dan Snyder
Brad Mills/USA TODAY Sports

There were more indications over the weekend that Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder will put the entire franchise on the market, and the process could be complete by spring even as the team is subject to multiple investigations.

A group led by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos — possibly with Jay-Z  — is expected to be a force once the bids start rolling in, sources with knowledge of the matter told Front Office Sports. An NFL team executive told FOS that the team could potentially reach, or possibly even surpass, $7 billion.  

Sources told FOS that Bezos is among at least five ownership groups lining up to bid on the Commanders and some have already reached out to Bank of America, the firm tapped by Snyder to handle the sale. 

Washington-Commanders

Bezos, Jay-Z Reportedly Teaming Up on Commanders Bid

Jeff Bezos and Jay-Z are frontrunners to be the next NFL owners.
November 4, 2022

This is the first time an original six NFL franchise has gone on the market since Snyder led a group to purchase the Commanders for $800 million in 1999. That’s $1.425 billion in today’s dollars — a sum that wouldn’t even cover the mandated 30% cash needed to buy the team this time around.

While the Denver Broncos’ $4.65 billion sale earlier this year dragged on due to lawsuits and an auction, the previous NFL franchise to change hands — the Carolina Panthers — took only five months. 

That 156-day span covered the time founding Panthers owner Jerry Richardson put the team up for sale in December 2017 to the owners approving the $2.275 billion purchase by hedge fund manager David Tepper in May 2018. 

NFL Network and Fox Sports reported Sunday that the sale could be ready for a vote for the NFL’s annual meeting in Phoenix on March 26 — or 144 days since Snyder first signaled a potential sale on Wednesday.

But there’s no rush since the NFL can schedule a special meeting for the owners to gather to vote after the finance committee approves the sale, which is how Rob Walton’s purchase of the Broncos was approved in August. 

Richardson was motivated to sell after Sports Illustrated reported allegations of workplace misconduct. Like Snyder, Richardson was the focus of an independent investigation initiated by the NFL as the sale progressed. 

Snyder, however, beyond the NFL’s current probe led by former SEC chief Mary Jo White also faces investigations by the Justice Department and the House Oversight Committee, as well as probes led by the attorneys general in Virginia, Maryland, and D.C. 

DOJ Investigating Commanders Over Alleged Financial Wrongdoing

The DOJ has spent months investigating the team over alleged financial improprieties.
November 2, 2022

Sources told FOS those inquiries are unlikely to derail the sale of the Commanders and, in fact, could keep a quicker sale on track.

Snyder will likely have to put a fairly significant amount into an escrow account. The escrow money would cover any monetary penalties or damages that arise from those investigations. 

Beyond escrow, sports law attorney Dan Lust told FOS that he’d recommend other legal carveouts to properly indemnify the incoming owners of the team to account for the pending investigations at the federal and state level.

“You would have to demand that of Snyder given what could be lurking around the corner,” said Lust, co-host of the Conduct Detrimental podcast and an attorney at the firm Moritt Hock & Hamroff. 

In July 2021, the Commanders were fined $10 million after the NFL’s first investigation headed by former assistant U.S. Attorney Beth Wilkinson. It’s not clear when White will conclude her investigation, which is focused both on a claim of harassment made against Snyder and financial improprieties.

Linkedin
Whatsapp
Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

Sabrina-Steph Wasn’t the ‘Battle of the Sexes’—But It Was Part of the Bigger War

The competition could play a factor in increasing the WNBA’s media value.
NASCAR Cup Series driver Bubba Wallace (23), in a Star Wars rebel alliance X-wing fighter pilot-inspired race suit, motions to the crowd to get louder during the driver introductions for the Cup Series Championship race at Phoenix Raceway in Avondale on Nov. 5, 2023.

Celebrity Owners, International Ambitions, and $7B Media Deals: Welcome to the New NASCAR

NASCAR boldly keeps pace with the increasingly competitive sports and entertainment world.

Wilson Introduced an Airless Basketball for $2,500. We Had Questions

The black, 3D-printed ball appeared in last year’s Slam Dunk Contest.

Women Prove to Be a Powerful Force in Super Bowl LVIII Record Viewership 

Female demographics show strong viewership growth for the NFL’s title game.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

The Company That’s Selling Inspiration

0:00
0:00

Featured Today

Emily Henegar, a baker and content creator, made a batch of NFL-inspired cookies featuring Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce.

The ‘Life-Changing’ Economy of Taylor Swift’s NFL Outfits

Appearing in Swift’s game-day wardrobe has been “life-changing” for small businesses.
February 11, 2024

Tom Brady’s Post-Retirement Embrace of Las Vegas

With business all over town, one partner says, ’He’s going to be a great addition to the city.’
Super Bowl
February 11, 2024

Does the Vegas Super Bowl Make Economic Sense? Depends Where You Get Your Figures

The game’s impact on an already bustling town is a thorny subject.
February 10, 2024

How Two EDM-Loving Dudes Reinvented the Super Bowl Party

The inside story—replete with tigers and billionaires—of Medium Rare.

Careers

Powered By

Careers in Sports

Looking for a new job? Check out these featured listings and search for openings all over the world.
Finance Manager
FanDuel
New York, NY
Senior Technical Artist - Sports Technology
EA Sports
Orlando, FL
Assistant Manager, Affiliate Operations
Adidas
Portland, OR
Phoenix Suns
February 15, 2024

Suns Last NBA Team To Add a G League Squad

Mat Ishbia made his latest move a year into owning the Suns.
February 20, 2024

An About-Face in D.C. As Lerners Pull Nationals From the Market

MLB club no longer for sale as ownership family changes course.
Sponsored

Live Sports Are Now High-Tech Experiences

Oracle is leading the technology revolution happening in stadiums across the world.
February 13, 2024

Royals Trust Owner’s ‘Gut,’ Commit to Downtown K.C. Site for New Stadium

MLB club targets late-emerging location near downtown for ballpark development.
Chiefs andy reid
February 12, 2024

The Chiefs’ Biggest Offseason Deal Stands on the Sideline

Reid’s $12 million yearly salary is increasingly out of step with current NFL trends.
February 8, 2024

The Chiefs: Big in Germany. (But Does It Matter?)

Chiefs’ president on K.C.’s international ambitions.
Rob Manfred
February 8, 2024

Manfred’s Patience Wearing Thin? Commish Makes Stance on A’s Clear

Commissioner says he would be “disappointed” if club misses 2028 target for Las Vegas ballpark.