December 8, 2022
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Dan Snyder Hires Bank to Explore Sale of Washington Commanders

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Daniel and Tanya Snyder, the embattled owners of the Washington Commanders, said they had hired bankers to explore potentially selling the team they have owned since 1999.

In a brief statement, the Snyders said they had hired BofA Securities, which handles the sales of many of the biggest sports teams, to “consider potential transactions.”

Reached for comment on whether the Snyders would seek to sell the entire team or a minority stake, a Commanders representative said, “We are exploring all options.” In 2021, Snyder bought the 40 percent of the franchise that he did not own from three limited partners. He and his family now own nearly all the shares in the team.

Any potential transaction would need to be presented to the N.F.L.’s finance committee for review and approved by 24 of 32 teams, or three-fourths of the league, a spokesman said.

According to Forbes, the Commanders are worth $5.6 billion, making them the sixth-most valuable team in the N.F.L.

Snyder has been under growing pressure from politicians, former employees and even fellow N.F.L. owners because of the state of his team, which ranks last in attendance in the league and has been investigated for numerous allegations of sexual harassment against team executives and Snyder himself. A former employee also accused the team of financial malfeasance, a claim that was submitted to the Federal Trade Commission.

The N.F.L.’s second investigation into Snyder and the Commanders, led by the former federal prosecutor Mary Jo White, began nine months ago and is continuing. “We have no update on a timeline,” the league spokesman said.

In a statement, the team said: “The Snyders remain committed to the team, all of its employees and its countless fans to putting the best product on the field and continuing to work to set the gold standard for workplaces in the N.F.L.”

At a meeting of the N.F.L. team owners in October, the Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay said “there is merit to remove” Snyder as owner of the Commanders. Such a move would require support from another three-fourths majority of N.F.L. owners. Irsay’s comments were significant because owners had previously only spoken about their dissatisfaction with Snyder privately.

Several N.F.L. owners, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said they were frustrated not just by the scandals surrounding the Commanders, but because those scandals had made it more difficult for Snyder to reach a deal to build a new stadium. Those owners said they hoped Snyder would sell the team without other owners having to vote him out.

This summer, the Denver Broncos were sold for a record $4.65 billion to Rob Walton and members of the Walton and Penner families, who founded Walmart. The Broncos are now reportedly the 12th-most valuable N.F.L. franchise.

The Commanders could fetch at least the same amount as the Broncos, given the size of the Washington market and the growth of the N.F.L.’s revenue, which includes media rights deals worth more than $100 billion over the next decade.

Snyder purchased the team for $800 million in 1999. Last year, he paid $875 million for the 40 percent of the team he did not own. It is possible that the Snyders try to recoup that money by reselling the shares he purchased.



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