Billionaires looking to buy the Washington Commanders will be ponying up a potential record amount paid for a sports franchise.
Commanders owner Dan Snyder has reportedly gotten offers for his team with valuations ‘well north’ of $7billion, according to Forbes.
The deal would include the team, the team’s headquarters in Ashburn, Virginia, and their stadium in Landover, MD – FedEx Field – as well as 264 acres of land surrounding it.
Forbes’ most recent evaluation of he team has the Commanders worth $5.6bn – making them the sixth most valuable franchise in the NFL.
Owner Dan Snyder is reportedly receiving $7bn offers to buy the Washington Commanders
While the initial price tag of $7bn is high enough, the true cost could balloon up to $10bn – as the team has been trying to build a new stadium in the DC Metro area that could cost as much as $3bn.
The recent purchase of the Phoenix Suns from disgraced owner Robert Sarver for $4bn may be a reason why offers are much higher than the Forbes valuation.
If a $7bn price tag is agreed, the Commanders would become the most expensive sports team purchase in history.
The May 2022 purchase of Chelsea Football Club in London by a consortium led by American Todd Boehly for $5.3bn is the current record holder. The record for the most expensive NFL team purchase was also set this year – when the Denver Broncos were bought for $4.65bn.
A $7bn price tag for the Commanders breaks the record for most expensive team purchase
Two sources with knowledge of the proceedings have told CBS Sports that the first round of offers were due on Friday. A team spokesperson declined to comment on the sales process in an email to DailyMail.com.
The mere existence of a sales process does not guarantee that embattled owner Dan Snyder will be surrendering the team he bought in 1999 for $800 million.
Snyder, along with his wife and co-CEO Tanya, announced on November 2 that they hired Bank of America Securities to explore potential transactions, but did not specify if they’re looking to sell all or just a portion of the team, which Forbes has valued at more than $5 billion.
Washington Commanders owners Tanya Snyder, left, and Dan Snyder on the field before the Dallas Cowboys defeat of the Washington Commanders 25-10 at AT&T Stadium on October 2
League sources told CBS Sports that the team will likely sell for something between $5.5 billion and $6.5 billion to surpass the Walton-Penner group’s recent $4.65 billion acquisition of the Denver Broncos as the highest sale price in NFL history.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell declined to speculate about any potential settlement at last week’s winter meetings. Snyder was not present and didn’t speak with reporters.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has been rumored to be one potential bidder, according to multiple reports, but it’s looking less likely that he’d be joined in his bid by Jay Z. Despite previous reporting to the contrary, a source close to the rapper told DailyMail.com that Jay Z isn’t expected to be involved with any purchase.
Last week, four people familiar with the sales process told the Washington Post that they expect Snyder to sell the entire team, as opposed to only a minority stake. One source said they think it’s no longer feasible for the 58-year-old billionaire to remain with the league, according to the report.
Ex-Commanders employee Tiffani Johnston told Congress’ Oversight Committee that Snyder once groped her thigh during a team dinner and pushed her toward his limousine with his hand on her lower back. Snyder has denied the allegation
Should Snyder strike a deal to sell the team, the sale would still need to be approved by at least three-quarters of the league’s other owners.
Both Snyder and the Commanders are currently being investigated by the league over accusations of sexual assault and financial malpractice within the organization. That probe is being conducted by Mary Jo White, the former chairwoman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, on the heels of previous investigations by the NFL and Congressional House Oversight Committee.
The team has already been fined $10 million by the NFL and Snyder voluntarily seeded temporary control of the Commanders to Tanya following the first league investigation into hostile workplace and sexual harassment claims.
The newer, ongoing investigation was launched last spring to verify subsequent claims of misbehavior, including former team employee Tiffani Johnston’s allegation that Snyder grabbed her thigh at a team dinner and pressured her to get into a limousine.
Snyder has denied this accusation.
A Washington Commanders fan looks on while wearing a sign that reads ‘Sell The Team’ during the second quarter between the Chicago Bears and the Washington Commanders at Soldier Field on October 13, 2022 in Chicago
An Oversight Committee investigation into the allegations conducted by House has concluded, with Democratic representatives issuing a wide-raging report, claiming that Snyder gave misleading congressional testimony and interfered with the investigation.
The Commanders created a ‘toxic work culture’ for more than two decades, according to the Committee’s report, which claims the team ignored sexual misconduct by high-ranking men within the organization.
Snyder was directly involved in the misconduct, the Committee claims, saying he inappropriately touched a former employee at a dinner and once requested a staff-produced video ‘of sexually suggestive footage of cheerleaders.’ Snyder previously denied the claims.
He allegedly interfered in NFL and Committee probes stemming from 2020 allegations of rampant sexual harassment by executives, according to the report. Specifically, Snyder is accused of offering hush money to witnesses, intimidating others with the help of private investigators, ‘blocking the production of documents,’ and refusing to release former employees from non-disclosure agreements.
While prominent Washington DC attorney Beth Wilkinson’s firm handled the NFL’s initial probe in 2020, Snyder also conducted his own ‘shadow investigation,’ casting ‘him as the victim of a defamation campaign.’
The Snyders are exploring the possibility of selling the team, to the pleasure of many fans
The shadow investigation was done, in part, to ‘deflect responsibility for the team’s toxic work culture,’ according to the congressional report.
And when he did testify to the committee, according to the report, Snyder was evasive and misleading, claiming more than 100 times that he had no memory of certain details.
‘For example, although Mr. Snyder admitted to using private investigators, he testified that he was ”unaware” whom his investigators approached and did not ”remember” having conversations with his counsel about the individuals targeted,’ read the report.
Publicizing their findings before the Republicans take over Congress next month, the Committee’s Democrats also accused Snyder or his staff of leaking racially derogatory, years-old emails from former Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden, who was subsequently fired by that team last season.
In the emails, which were sent more than a decade ago in some cases, Gruden said African-American players’ union executive director DeMaurice Smith had ‘lips the size of Michelin tires’ and also called NFL commissioner Roger Goodell a ‘f*****.’
According to congressional testimony by former Commanders team president Bruce Allen, the recipient of the emails, Snyder made the leak in late 2021 to ‘send a message’ to Allen, one of his perceived enemies.
‘According to Mr. Allen, Mr. Snyder’s actions signaled that ”he owns me with these emails, which affect my coworkers, the alumni, my family and friends,”’ read an excerpt from the 79-page report released Thursday.
When Allen asked a member of the NFL’s legal team why the league had leaked the emails to the Wall Street Journal, the attorney allegedly told former Commanders President: ‘We didn’t do it at the league office. It came out of [the team’s] side.’
Redskins cheerleaders seen dancing as part of a 2004 event, where Tiffany Bacon Scourby claims Snyder suggested she spend some time with a close friend of his in a nearby hotel room
Fired Commanders president Bruce Allen testified that Snyder planned to use private investigators to follow himself and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell
Allen also testified that Snyder discussed using private investigators to follow Goodell as well as himself.
‘The investigators told Mr. Allen that they were ”just here to follow you” and ”document your actions,” read the report. ‘Mr. Allen testified that Mr. Snyder commented on his plans to use of private investigators to follow other individuals, including Commissioner Roger Goodell.’
The report accuses Snyder of preventing former employees from testifying to Wilkinson and the House Committee.
While Snyder released some former employees from non-disclosure agreements, his attorneys wrote to Wilkinson in 2020, explaining that a woman who had accused him of sexual harassment in 2009 would not be free to testify as part of Wilkinson’s investigation, according to the report.
Snyder privately settled that sexual harassment allegation in 2009 for $1.6 million following an incident aboard his private plane, the Washington Post reported in 2020. The woman, a former team employee, claims Snyder asked her for sex, groped her and attempted to remove her clothes while the pair were on a team plane returning from Las Vegas.
Around that time, attorneys working for Snyder allegedly offered the 2009 accuser ‘a substantial sum’ around ‘seven figures’ if ‘she agreed not to speak to anyone about her allegations against Snyder and her settlement with the team.’
Finally, Snyder and the team still face a pair of lawsuits from the District of Columbia and have been fined by Maryland for improperly withholding security deposits from season ticket holders.