Thursday September 28, 2023

The Most Expensive North American Pro Sports Franchise Sales

  • Dan Snyder's pending sale of the Washington Commanders could jump to the highest team sale.
  • Last year, the Denver Broncos' $4.65 billion sale topped the list of franchises sold.
Washington Commanders sale could be the most expensive.
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
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Dan Synder appears close to finally selling the Washington Commanders as a group led by billionaire private equity investor Josh Harris is expected to pay about $6 billion for the franchise.

Harris, the founder of Apollo Global Management, is adding to his sports franchise empire that already includes Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment’s Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils. If approved, NBA legend Magic Johnson and Danaher Corporation are part of Harris’ Commanders’ bid, which would be the most cash ever spent to buy a U.S. sports team.

The reported payment for the Commanders would be about $1.5 billion more than the existing highest sale price for a U.S. team. Harris’ $6 billion bid surpasses the $5.6 billion bid that Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta told CNBC he made for the Commanders. Jeff Bezos hired a banking firm to explore a Commanders purchase, but the Amazon CEO did not enter a bid for the NFL team, which Snyder paid $800 million for in 1999.

In the Covid-19 pandemic era, the Commanders are expected to become the fourth franchise to set a new record for the most-expensive U.S. sports team sold. As franchise values continue to soar, here’s a list of the ten most expensive sports franchise sales before Washington’s expected to jump to No. 1.

The Top 10

RankFranchiseSale PriceLeagueYear
1Denver Broncos$4.65BNFL2022
2Phoenix Suns & Mercury$4BNBA/WNBA2022
3New York Mets$2.4BMLB2020
4Brooklyn Nets$2.35BNBA2019
5Carolina Panthers$2.275BNFL2018
6Houston Rockets$2.2BNBA2017
7Los Angeles Dodgers$2.15BMLB2012
8Los Angeles Clippers$2BNBA2014
9Buffalo Bills$1.4BNFL2014
10Toronto Maple Leafs & Raptors$1.32BNHL/NBA2011
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