The sale of the Washington Commanders is an ever-evolving beast with stories coming out almost daily that can seem conflicting. Dan Snyder has been known to use certain media outlets in New York to get his message out, and that seems to be happening again with this sale. The range of “bids” placed on the team started with reports from Forbes that there were several well north of $7 billion. That number dropped to topping out at $6.3 billion, and now there’s speculation that the official bids might get to Snyder’s new minimum of $6 billion. The number of bidders has also ranged from 2-4, but only 76ers owner Josh Harris was a known bidder.
That changed last night when the Washington Post reported that Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta was named as the 2nd bidder trying to purchase the Washington Commanders from Dan and Tanya Snyder. They said his bid was slightly above $5.5 billion and he is not believed to be a front-runner to purchase the team. He was one of the prospective buyers who visited the team, joining Harris as one of the billionaires to get the full tour.
Tilman Fertitta is currently worth an estimated $8.1 billion. He purchased the Houston Rockets in 2017 for $2.2 billion. Fertitta’s wealth came from his start in the construction industry, and then he moved into the restaurant business. His business empire also includes hotels, casinos, and the entertainment industry. Fertitta was also a founding investor in the expansion Houston Texans, but had to sell his stake due to his ownership of a casino.
NEW: Tilman Fertitta, the billionaire owner of the NBA's Houston Rockets and Landry's hospitality and entertainment, is involved in the bidding for the Commanders, from @NickiJhabvala and me.... https://t.co/MZAWPdwGYD— MarkMaske (@MarkMaske) February 26, 2023
This news comes after the latest reports on the potential sale of the team say that Dan Snyder is blocking Amazon founder Jeff Bezos from making a bid on the team. This is reportedly due to his ownership of the Washington Post, and their coverage of the toxic workplace in the franchise that has led to several investigations. Bezos has hired Allen & Company, the firm that handled the last two sales of NFL teams, to evaluate a possible bid for the team.
There was hope that the sale of the team would be finalized and ready for a vote by the time the NFL owners hold their annual meeting at the end of March, but that deadline seems more and more unlikely by the day. The NFL’s rules on “cash on hand” needed limit the pool of billionaires and groups that are even able to bid on the team. Snyder’s unrealistic goals for a sale price, and blocking the richest bidder are also complicating the process. The Denver Broncos sold for $4.65 billion to the Walton group last year, and any sale price above that would be the new record sale price for an NFL team.
Dan Snyder has always been a petty man, and has been feeling the pressure from all sides to sell the team that he bought in 1999 for $800 million. He still has multiple investigations into the team and himself that are ongoing. The NFL’s second investigation, led by Mary Jo White, has entered it’s second year, and Roger Goodell recently said it would be over when its over. The speculation is that the NFL owners have backed off any criticism, and the release of that report, due to Snyder “cooperating” and going forward with the sale of the team. If Snyder changes his mind due to the unrealistic expectations for the sale, he will be flipping off the other 31 owners, and opening the next phase of his war against his business partners. That will be an ugly fight, if they have the stomach for it, and would likely lead to years in federal court if both sides take it that far.
Sell the team Dan.