NFL owners unanimously approved the sale of the Washington Commanders to a group led by Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils owner Josh Harris, officially ending Dan Snyder’s more than two-decade career as team owner.
«Congratulations to Josh Harris and his impressive group of partners. Josh will be a great addition to the NFL. He has a remarkable record in business, sports and in his communities. The diverse group Josh has assembled is outstanding for their business acumen and strong ties to Washington, and we welcome them to the NFL as well,» NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement.
«I knew Josh several years ago, before he acquired a stake in the Steelers, and I’ve been lucky enough to get to know him better in recent months. I know he’s committed to winning on the field, but also to running an organization everyone will be proud of and making positive contributions to the community.»
Both parties issued a joint statement in May announcing the deal, which had been previously agreed a month earlier. Sources told The Associated Press at the time that Harris agreed to buy the team for a record $6.05 billion, the highest price paid for a North American professional sports team.
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«We are very pleased to have reached an agreement for the sale of the Commanders franchise with Josh Harris, a native of the area, and his impressive group of partners,» Snyder and his wife, Tanya, said in a statement in May. «We look forward to the speedy completion of this transaction and look forward to Josh and the team for years to come.»
«On behalf of our entire ownership group…I want to express how excited we are to be considered by the nfl to be the next owners of the Washington Commanders and how committed we are to delivering a championship-caliber franchise to this city and its fan base,» Harris said in his statement.
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The sale to the group led by Harris, which includes Magic Johnson, NBA Hall of Famer, investor and sports team owner David Blitzer, and American billionaire Mitchell Rales, were welcomed following August 2020 allegations about a toxic work environment.
Snyder first bought the Commanders in 1999 for $750 million, but after a series of investigations by the NFL and Congress into allegations of widespread abuse. misconduct in the workplace and possible financial irregularities, calls for Snyder to sell the team increased.
The league fined the organization $10 million and ordered Snyder away from day-to-day operations. The lawmakers’ subsequent investigation also found that Snyder played a significant role in fostering a toxic work environment and pointed to evidence suggesting that Snyder impeded the NFL’s independent investigation into those allegations.
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In 2021, the Snyders bought out the previous minority owners and, in November, hired Bank of America Securities to explore a potential sale.
The deal with the Harris group surpasses the previous record set by Walmart heir Robert Walton, who bought the Denver Broncos last year for 4.550 million dollars.
Associated Press contributed to this report.