Jul 21, 2023 - Sports

It's a new day for the Washington Commanders

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The Dan Snyder era — defined by lawsuits, chaos and mediocre football — is officially over.

Driving the news: During a special session on Thursday in Minneapolis, National Football League owners unanimously approved the Washington Commanders sale to a group led by private equity investor Josh Harris.

  • Following the vote, the NFL released its findings from an investigation into Snyder and fined him $60 million on his way out the door.
  • The investigation found that Snyder sexually harassed a female employee and improperly withheld revenue meant to be shared among the NFL's 32 teams.

What they're saying: "I feel an awesome responsibility to the city of Washington," said Harris, a D.C. area native. "This franchise is part of who I am … I know what I've got to do. It comes down to winning."

  • The Harris group is paying $6.05 billion, a record price for a North American sports franchise by a wide margin (the Denver Broncos are second at $4.65 billion).
  • Snyder had owned the majority of the Commanders since 1999 — a dismal 24-year run that saw the team go from first to last in attendance.

By the numbers: A snapshot of Snyder's tenure, via WashPost's Nicki Jhabvala…

  • Price paid: $800 million
  • Price sold: $6.05 billion
  • Length: 24 years, 1 month, 25 days
  • Regular-season record: 164-220-2 (.427)
  • Coaches: 10
  • Playoff berths: 6
  • Division titles: 4
  • Team names: 3
  • Starting QBs: 27
  • Federal investigations: 4 (House Committee, Drug Enforcement Administration, Department of Justice)
  • NFL investigations: 2 (Beth Wilkinson, Mary Jo White)
  • Attorney General investigations: 3 (Maryland, Virginia, Washington, D.C.)

The last word: "I think it's going to be a great day for the NFL," said Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones upon arriving at Thursday's meeting.

  • More specifically, a great day for NFL owners, who will see their franchise valuations skyrocket after the team with the lowest attendance and worst stadium just sold for over $6 billion.
  • It was a great day for Harris, too. Sure, he paid a hefty price, but he got a sleeping giant of a business and now has the easiest job in sports: Be better than Dan Snyder.

What to watch: I'm told there's a good chance the new ownership group will change the name (again) and rebrand the team, signaling a clean break from the Snyder era and the start of a new chapter.

The bottom line: "Daniel Snyder destroyed a D.C. institution," writes WashPost's Dan Steinberg. "Maybe now it can heal."

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