- The NFL’s Washington Commanders could soon be for sale
- The team announced the surprising decision on Wednesday
- The Commanders are worth an estimated $5.6 billion
The owners of the Washington Commanders, Dan and Tanya Snyder, have reportedly recruited Bank of America Securities to “explore potential trades.”
The team’s stunning decision to hire the investment bank was disclosed on Wednesday. When asked if the Snyders were considering selling all or a portion of the franchise, a representative stated, “We are evaluating all possibilities.”
This might involve a full sale under rising pressure and various continuing investigations, despite Snyder’s repeated assertions that he would never sell the team, or the addition of new investors more than 18 months after the Snyders purchased out the previous minority owners.
BofA Securities has handled numerous sales of professional sports franchises, including Steve Ballmer’s 2014 purchase of the Los Angeles Clippers of the National Basketball Association. A mail made to the company for additional comment was not responded immediately.
Forbes estimates that the Commanders are worth $5.6 billion, a sevenfold gain from the then-record $800 million that Snyder spent for the team in 1999. This would rank sixth among the league’s 32 franchises and exceed the $4.65 billion Walmart heir Rob Walton spent earlier this year for the Denver Broncos.
It was initially unclear how fast a potential transaction could occur. According to anonymous sources cited by Forbes, Snyder has already received at least four calls from prospective buyers.
Brian McCarthy, a spokesman for the league, stated, “Any proposed transaction would have to be presented to the NFL Finance Committee for examination and would require the approval of three-quarters of the whole membership, or 24 of 32 owners.”
In a statement announcing the decision, the team stated, “The Snyders remain committed to the team, all of its employees, and its innumerable fans to delivering the best product on the field and continuing the effort to establish the gold standard for workplaces in the NFL.”
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In Washington, Snyder’s ownership has come under heightened scrutiny after an inquiry revealed a toxic workplace atmosphere, resulting in a $10 million fine and other ongoing reviews. The league office and Congress are currently examining charges of sexual harassment and alleged financial impropriety, among other organizational misdeeds.
Jim Irsay, owner of the Indianapolis Colts, stated at the most recent league meeting that there was “merit” to dismissing Snyder, who has been accused of molesting a team employee and managing a hostile work environment for women.
It would require 24 of the other 31 owners to vote to remove Snyder, unless he willingly sold the recently renamed Commanders. The day after Irsay’s remarks, a team representative stated that the Snyders would not consider selling the franchise.
Lisa Banks and Debra Katz, attorneys for more than 40 former team employees, deemed the decision to consider selling a “positive development.”
This could be a significant step toward healing and closure for the many courageous women and men who have come forward, according to their statement.
During Snyder’s 23 years as owner, the team has won only two playoff games and has had one of the poorest records in the league during that time.
The Snyder family purchased Fred Smith’s, Dwight Schar’s, and Bob Rothman’s 40.5% stake in Washington Football Inc. in March 2021, so gaining sole ownership of the team.