A group led by Josh Harris has reached a tentative deal to acquire the Washington Commanders, a source with knowledge of the process told Front Office Sports on Thursday.
For weeks, the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils owner had been the lone legitimate contender for the franchise. And while sources told FOS the deal isn’t official yet, it’s expected to be announced in the coming days.
Harris’s group, which includes billionaire industrial firm co-founder Mitchell Rales and NBA legend Magic Johnson — and is expected to include others — will pay about $6 billion for the Commanders.
Commanders owner Dan Snyder, who paid $800 million for the franchise in 1999, was left with few options.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta are no longer options, and since no other bidder with the means to purchase the team has materialized, Harris has been Snyder’s only viable choice
Harris’ bid of around $6 billion has outstripped what others are willing to pay for the franchise that’s been on a downward spiral for years amid multiple investigations, lawsuits, and even a potential push to remove Snyder as owner.
Sportico first reported an agreement had been reached.
FOS reported on Wednesday that Bezos, who hired a banking firm to explore the purchase, would not enter the bidding. Fertitta told CNBC on Wednesday that he put in a $5.6 billion bid, although he confirmed that he was no longer involved in the process.