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NFL owners approve Commanders sale, Dan Snyder fined $60M

Jul 21, 2023

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The long-awaited sale of the Washington Commanders was unanimously approved by NFL owners on Thursday, July 20. The deal was worth $6.05 billion, the highest price paid for a North American professional sports club.

The new owners are Harris Blitzer Sports and Entertainment, a group led by investor Josh Harris. Harris, along with partner David Blitzer, owns the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers and NHL’s New Jersey Devils.

“I think Josh is going to be a great addition to the NFL and this ownership group,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Thursday. “He has a remarkable business record – not just in finance but also now in sports – and I think he is a person who cares deeply about not just his assets but, more importantly, his communities and how he gives back. So we look forward to having Josh a part of the league.”

Other notable members of the new ownership team include Washington-area billionaire Mitchell Rales and basketball Hall of Famer Magic Johnson. The sale was expected to close in the coming days, officially ending a tumultuous 20+ years for one of the NFL’s oldest franchises.

“Look, obviously it was a long process – sometimes that’s what happens. We’re very excited to get to work and to start the new era of Washington football,” Harris said Thursday. “We are humbled and awed by the level of responsibility that we have to take care of this city and to win championships and really to excite the fans again.”

Minutes after the owners approved of the sale, the NFL announced previous Commanders owner Dan Snyder has been fined $60 million. The fine is the result of a 23-page report which found Snyder sexually harassed a team employee and oversaw team executives who deliberately withheld at least $11 million in revenue from other clubs.

“After extensive investigation, we have sustained both Tiffani Johnston’s allegation of sexual harassment by Mr. Snyder and Jason Friedman’s allegation of deliberate underreporting of NFL revenues by the club to avoid its [visiting team share (VTS)] sharing obligations,” the report concluded. “In the course of the investigation, we also identified a variety of transactions and accounting entries, left unexplained by the club, which raised a number of issues as to whether a significant portion of the revenues recorded were NFL-related revenues improperly shielded from VTS sharing.”

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THE LONG-AWAITED SALE OF THE WASHINGTON COMMANDERS IS FINALLY COMPLETE — AFTER N-F-L OWNERS UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED IT THURSDAY.
THE DEAL IS WORTH A RECORD 6-POINT-OH-5 BILLION DOLLARS.
THE TEAM — NOW UNDER THE OWNERSHIP OF A GROUP LED BY INVESTOR JOSH HARRIS — AND INCLUDES BASKETBALL HALL OF FAMER MAGIC JOHNSON.
“We’re very excited to get to work and to start the new era of Washington football and, yeah, I mean we are humbled and awed by the level of responsibility that we have to take care of this city and to win championships and really to excite the fans again.”
JUST MINUTES AFTER THE SALE WAS ANNOUNCED — THE N-F-L ALSO ANNOUNCED THAT **PREVIOUS COMMANDERS OWNER DAN SYDER HAS BEEN FINED 60 MILLION DOLLARS.
THE FINE IS A RESULT OF AN INVESTIGATION THAT FOUND SNYDER SEXUALLY HARASSED A TEAM EMPLOYEE — AND OVERSAW EXECUTIVES WHO DELIBERATELY WITHHELD MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN REVENUE FROM OTHER TEAMS.