The NFL will hold a meeting on July 20 where league owners are expected to vote on the pending sale of the Washington Commanders to a group led by billionaire Josh Harris.
The Washington Post was the first to report on the upcoming meeting. In April, Harris reached an agreement with Commanders owners Dan and Tanya Snyder to buy the franchise for $6.05 billion. The figure represents the highest price for a team in NFL history.
On May 12, the Harris group and the Snyders signed a purchase and sale agreement. Harris is part owner of several professional sports teams, including the Philadelphia 76ers and the New Jersey Devils.
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Per NFL policy, at least three-fourths (24) of the league’s 32 owners must vote in favor of the sale for it to be approved.
In most cases, owners follow the recommendation of the league’s finance committee.
APPLICATION FOR MARK OF COMMANDERS DENIED DUE TO EXISTING RECORDS
For example, in July 2022, the committee recommended approval for the sale of the Denver Broncos to a group led by billionaire Rob Walton. The following month, the owners voted in favor of the sale.
Earlier this month, the finance committee met with Harris in New York. Shortly after the meeting ended, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay told ESPN that he was «hopeful» Harris’ offer would become a closed deal in the near future. Irsay is a member of the finance committee.
«I’m hopeful for his inspired look and his enthusiasm and his trajectory,» Irsay said. «We’re just trying to work out those final details. And I’m hopeful we can do that. I would imagine something in the middle or late July would be the earliest we would call a league meeting.»
However, Irsay previously noted on more than one occasion that there were some concerns about the amount of debt involved in the deal and the amount of equity in Harris’ offer. NFL guidelines stipulate that a new owner is prohibited from taking on more than $1.1 billion in debt. Any prospective homeowner must also have a 30 percent down payment.
Billionaire Mitchell Rales and NBA legend Magic Johnson are also part of the investment group.
Harris’ offer reportedly outbid Canadian billionaire Steve Apostolopoulos’ $6 billion offer.
Dan Snyder and the franchise remain the subject of an investigation led by former federal prosecutor Mary Jo White into allegations of workplace misconduct. Possible illegal financial conduct has also been reported.
The NFL decided to hire White to lead the investigation in February 2022 after a former team employee accused Snyder of sexual misconduct. Snyder strongly denied the allegations.
The Commanders recently settled lawsuits with Maryland and the District of Columbia regarding money deposited by the team’s season ticket holders.
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Since Snyder became owner of the Washington franchise, the team hasn’t had much success on the football field. During that span, Washington compiled a record of 164-220-2. The 2005 season marked the last time the team won a postseason game.
However, between 1971 and 1992, before Snyder owned it, the franchise made five Super Bowl appearances and won three.