The NFL’s Washington Commanders could be for sale soon after owners Dan and Tanya Snyder said they have hired Bank of America Securities to “consider potential transactions.”
While the Synder’s announcement did not specifically mention plans to sell the team, hiring a major bank is often a prelude to such a move. Asked if the Snyders were considering selling part or all of the team, a spokesperson said, “We are exploring all options.”
Dan Snyder has said many times he would never sell the team, or bring on new investors more than 18 months after he and his wife bought out the previous minority owners. BofA Securities has handled other sales of professional sports teams, including the sale of the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers in 2014 to Steve Ballmer.
The Commanders are worth an estimated $5.6 billion, according to Forbes. That ranks sixth among the NFL’s 32 teams and would be more than the $4.65 billion Walmart heir Rob Walton paid for the Denver Broncos earlier this year.
NFL teams don’t go on sale often, but when they do, they often fetch a hefty price. The Chicago Bears, Seattle Seahawks and Los Angeles Chargers might be up for sale next, CBS Sports reported earlier this year.
Toxic workplace culture
It’s not immediately clear how soon a possible Commanders sale could happen or if at all. Still, the Snyders’ ownership in Washington has come under increased criticism after an investigation found a toxic workplace culture and prompted a $10 million fine and additional reviews that are ongoing.
The NFL and Congress are currently investigating various organizational improprieties, including allegations of sexual harassment and potential financial improprieties. Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay said at the most recent league meeting there was “merit” to removing Snyder, who has been accused of sexual harassment and of overseeing a workplace in which women were frequently harassed and demeaned.
Attorneys who represent some of the former employees that Snyder has been accused of harassing called the potential sale “a good development for the team.”
“We will have to see how this unfolds, but this could obviously be a big step towards healing and closure for the many brave women and men who came forward,” lawyers Lisa Banks and Debra Katz said in a statement.
It would take 24 of the other 31 owners to vote to remove Snyder, unless he voluntarily chose to sell the team that was renamed the Commanders earlier this year.
Snyder bought the team in 1999 for a then-record $800 million, and it has won just two playoff games since. The Snyder family took full control of the team in March 2021 after buying out the 40.5% stake of Washington Football Inc. owned by Fred Smith, Dwight Schar and Bob Rothman.
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