The Washington Commanders have been “on the market” since news broke on November 2nd that Dan and Tanya Snyder hired Bank of America Securities to explore a sale of the franchise. Stories quickly came out about interest from Amazon founder, and Washington Post owner, Jeff Bezos with a possible partnership with Jay-Z. The first round of bids for the team started in December, but Bezos was reportedly not one of the two groups bidding.
The Washington Post is reporting that Jeff Bezos has hired an investment firm to evaluate a possible bid on the Washington Commanders.
Bezos is working with Allen & Company, a New York-based firm that is prominent in transactions involving professional sports franchises, according to those people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the confidential nature of the deliberations.
The firm handled the two most recent sales of NFL franchises, those involving the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos. The Panthers were sold in 2018 by Jerry Richardson to David Tepper for $2.275 billion. The Broncos were sold last year by the Pat Bowlen Trust to a group led by Walmart heir Rob Walton for $4.65 billion, the record sale price for an NFL team.
Jeff Bezos has been linked to NFL ownership for years, but has never officially placed a bid for a team. He is currently the 3rd richest man in the world with a net worth of $117.8 billion. Dan Snyder is reportedly looking for at least $7 billion for the franchise, but initial bids didn’t top $6.3 billion, and could drop below $6 billion when the final numbers are tallied.
That was the reality last week when Jeff Bezos’ interest in bidding on the Commanders was speculation based on loose reports of interest. Bezos hiring the firm that handled the last two sales of NFL teams is a good sign that he has more than a rumored interest, but doesn’t guarantee he will bid on this NFL team. The Seattle Seahawks are expected to also be sold after owner Paul Allen died in 2018, and the team has been part of a trust that is run by his sister. The Seahawks wouldn’t go on sale until next year at the earliest, and Bezos has ties to that area.
The Jeff Bezos/Washington Commanders connections are also strong. Bezos bought the Washington Post in 2013, and articles highlighting the franchise’s toxic workplace and other issues have reportedly caused an issue with a possible sale. Snyder has had three potential ownership groups tour the team’s headquarters and FedEx Field, but Bezos’s name hasn’t been reported. Josh Harris is the only reported billionaire in that group, and the owner of the Philadelphia 76ers was considered the favorite to purchase the team before today’s Bezos news.
NEW: Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has hired a well-connected investment firm, the New York-based Allen & Company, to help him consider a possible bid for the Commanders. From @NickiJhabvala, @lizclarketweet and me.... https://t.co/EiuDh78xqk— MarkMaske (@MarkMaske) February 23, 2023
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