It’s been quite the week for Washington Commanders news — and as has become the norm during the tumultuous 23-year tenure of owner Dan Snyder, almost none of it has to do with football.
After decades of astonishing on-the-field mediocrity, federal investigations into fostering a toxic workplace culture, and failing to entice area lawmakers into building a new stadium — among a litany of other grievances — the 60-year-old Commanders owner, along with his wife and co-owner Tanya Snyder, 57, shocked the region Wednesday when the team confirmed the owner had hired Bank of America Securities to explore “potential transactions” involving selling the team.
Just hours after the announcement, ESPN published a report citing the launch of a criminal investigation by the U.S. attorney’s office into allegations of financial improprieties by the Commanders, accusations the team attorney, in a subsequent statement, called “falsehoods based solely on anonymous sources.”
Speculation swirled, with some suggesting the sale announcement could be designed to attract potential minority owners in the hopes of securing money for a stadium deal.
However, when asked whether minority shares or the entire team would be up for sale, a team spokesperson said the team is exploring all options.
One day after the news of a prospective sale sent an increasingly indifferent fanbase into a frenzy, PEOPLE published a report that hinted at a potential deal with an ownership group that includes Jeff Bezos and Jay-Z.
The Amazon founder previously expressed interest in purchasing an NFL franchise in 2019, according to a CBS report, with one source telling CBS at the time that Bezos “has strong support within the league to eventually join their ranks.”
Jay-Z, meanwhile, has also been immersed in the sports world for some time, previously owning a stake in the Brooklyn Nets and launching Roc Nation Sports, an athlete representation agency that currently boasts more than 100 professional clients, including both the quarterback and the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, Kyler Murray, and Kliff Kingsbury, respectively.
Other potential buyers include media mogul Byron Allen, who previously attempted to purchase the Denver Broncos. A sale of the team to Allen would officially make him the first Black owner of an NFL franchise in league history. The team has reportedly fielded at least four calls from prospective buyers so far, according to Forbes.
A sale of the entire team could net as much as $7 billion. Despite its horrid run under Snyder, the Commanders franchise is currently valued at $5.6 billion. Snyder purchased the then-Washington Redskins in 1999 for $800 million.
The team, meanwhile, released a statement asserting that the current ownership remains “committed to the team” amid the incessant external noise, which has become the norm for the franchise.
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