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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Josh Harris, David Blitzer Set to Part Ways with Steelers Stake

  • Harris’s purchase of the Commanders prevents him from keeping the Steelers’ stake.
  • Rooney and Tull are longtime Steelers owners who are close on the deal for an additional equity stake.
Josh Harris
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Harris’s purchase of one NFL team is causing him to sell his stake in another. 

After buying the Commanders for nearly $6 billion in 2023, Harris and his partner David Blitzer are in advanced talks to sell their minority stake in the Steelers, according to Bloomberg. The Harris-Blitzer stake, which is less than 5% of the team, will reportedly go to an investor group led by Art Rooney and Thomas Tull, who already owned shares of the team. 

NFL rules prohibit owners from having shares of multiple teams, so Harris was previously aware he would have to part ways with his Steelers equity upon purchasing the Commanders. He also has majority ownership stakes with Blitzer, a Blackstone Group executive, in the NBA’s 76ers, the NHL’s Devils, and a part of Crystal Palace Football Club. 

Harris and Blitzer aren’t the only ones selling a minority stake. Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is selling a small stake in his franchise, hoping to capitalize on the recent spike in sports franchise valuations. “I never dreamed we’d be so fast at the valuations that are out there today,” Ross told Bloomberg.

Rooney is part of the Steelers’ founding family, which established the team in 1933. Tull is a Pittsburgh-based co-owner who made most of his fortune by selling Legendary Pictures, the production company of contemporary classic films such as The Dark Knight and The Hangover. Tull has owned a piece of the team since 2009. Bloomberg reported in ’23 that Tull was looking to increase his shares with the team. 

The transaction requires the approval of the NFL and could be finalized in the coming months. 

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