The Dan Snyder sale news was pretty quiet for a few weeks after the initial round of bids were accepted in late December. Now there seems to be a new report every other day, and a lot of the news is pointing to a full sale of the Washington Commanders happening sooner than later. The latest report comes from NBC Sports Washington reporter J.P. Finlay who is saying the sale should be done soon, and probably done by March before the NFL owners meeting at the end of that month.
Todd Boehly, who is at least a partial owner in multiple teams in multiple different sports globally, was reported to be making a strong push to purchase the team, but Finlay reports that he has pulled out of the bidding process. He completed a $5.4 billion purchase for Chelsea FC last year with the founders of Clearlake Capital, among other investors. He also grew up in Bethesda, MD and had a lot of local ties.
Two days ago A.J. Perez from Front Office Sports reported that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos did not submit a bid during the initial round of bidding, but he could swoop in later to top the highest bid(currently reported at $6.3 billion in the first round). Bezos has the largest net worth of any of the potential bidders who have been identified, but there are issues between him and Snyder that have been reported before, that Finlay seems to confirm the Snyders do not want to sell their franchise to him. Bezos bought the Washington Post in 2018, and they have always been a thorn in Snyder’s side. The Post has published many of the stories that exposed Washington’s toxic workplace that led to multiple investigations by the NFL, Congress, along with local, state, and federal attorneys.
Finlay’s report brings in another name that was brought up after the Snyders announced they were exploring a sale in early November, but we haven’t much since. Josh Harris owns the Philadelphia Sixers(NBA) and the New Jersey Devils(NHL), and was very interested in purchasing the Denver Broncos last year. That team was eventually sold to the Walton-Penner group for $4.65 billion, but Harris was reportedly ready to pay $5 billion. He didn’t place that bid, because he didn’t receive assurances that would seal the deal, and he didn’t want to get into a bidding war with another group. Now Harris, a Washington. D.C. native, could be a lead candidate to buy his hometown team.
A new stadium is going to be a big factor for the new owner, and has also been an issue that the other NFL owners have been using against Snyder for his inability to secure public funding and a stadium site. Perez reported Snyder’s planned domed stadium was expected to cost $3 billion, but amended that estimate to closer to $4 billion while talking to Kevin Sheehan this morning. Finlay discussed the possibility of a return to the RFK Stadium site by a new owner, and also what would happen to the land and facilities that will be included in the sale.
Further, among the remaining ownership candidates, there is a firm belief that a return to the RFK Stadium grounds in Washington is a real possibility. The Commanders currently play at FedEx Field in Landover, Md., and some ownership groups believe they could make a viable practice facility on the current stadium site and return to the city to play games.
The team’s current practice facility, the OrthoVirginia Training Center at Commanders Park in Ashburn. Va., could fetch a hefty sales price if the team did move its headquarters. That land is situated among a number of important data centers and adjacent to a large fiber line vital for global computing needs.