The first true signal Jeff Bezos has an interest in the Washington Commanders went up on Thursday.
The Amazon founder has hired Allen & Company — one of the top investment banking firms in sports — to explore a potential bid for the Commanders more than three months after owner Dan Snyder announced he’d explore a franchise sale, according to The Washington Post.
A representative for Allen & Company declined to comment.
It doesn’t necessarily mean Bezos will enter the bidding process, but executives and owners around the NFL expected him to explore an acquisition.
Front Office Sports reported last month that Bezos wasn’t among the early bidders for the team that saw bids top out at $6.3 billion.
Snyder is seeking as much as $7 billion for the franchise he purchased for $800 million in 1999. At the same time, Snyder hasn’t expressed that he would sell all or even a chunk of the team; all signs — including at the team’s headquarters Thursday, where Eric Bieniemy was introduced as the new offensive coordinator and assistant head coach — pointed to Snyder selling.
In recent weeks, multiple potential buyers have paid visits to the team’s HQ in Ashburn, Va., including Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment co-founder Josh Harris.
There have been questions about how receptive Snyder would be to a Bezos bid.
Snyder has been frustrated over the years by coverage from The Washington Post, which Bezos purchased nearly a decade ago.
The outlet’s coverage of the team’s toxic workplace issues led to an independent investigation by the NFL that resulted in a $10 million fine of the team and Snyder stepping away from the team’s day-to-day operations in July 2021.
Sources previously told FOS that Bezos might have to pay a premium to acquire the Commanders to overcome that animus.
Multiple investigations into the team and Snyder are still ongoing, including one led by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Eastern Virginia. FOS reported earlier this week that at least one subpoena had been issued as part of that probe.
Allen & Company handled many of the largest franchise transactions in recent years, including the last two NFL teams to change hands (Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers) and the MLB-record purchase of the New York Mets.