Apr 14, 2023 - Sports

End of Dan Snyder era in sight

Photo illustration of Dan Snyder on an abstract background made up of dollar bill signs and football pitches.

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Al Pereira/Getty Images

The Dan Snyder goodbye parade is loading.

Driving the news: Snyder has agreed to sell the Commanders to a group led by Philadelphia 76ers co-owner Josh Harris for a record $6 billion, per multiple outlets.

Why it matters: An agreement would end months of bidding – and the tumultuous Snyder era. The billionaire's 24-year run as owner began with great hopes in the then-proud football town of Washington. It ends with the stain of harassment scandals and a drained fanbase.

  • Under new owners, Washingtonians can at last hope for a turnaround. A new stadium is more likely, too.

What they’re saying: The news “may not feel quite the same as winning a Super Bowl, but it's pretty darn close for a generation of football fans who have been on a seemingly never-ending quest to find rock bottom,” writes sports columnist Michael Phillips.

What's happening: The new ownership group would include two billionaires with local ties: Harris grew up in Chevy Chase and attended The Field School, and Mitchell Rales is from Bethesda and went to Walt Whitman High School.

  • Harris co-owns the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers and the NHL’s New Jersey Devils.
  • Magic Johnson is also part of the bid.

Between the lines: Rales and Harris are crazy rich (combined Forbes net worth of $11.6 billion), but there may be more investors in the group.

Speaking of crazy rich: Snyder bought the team for $800 million.

  • Now he’s got a deal for $6 billion.

A D.C.-area native, Snyder in 1999 described purchasing the three-time Super Bowl champions as "the most wonderful thing that's ever happened to me."

  • The team went on to win just two playoff games during his ownership.

💭 My thought bubble: As a D.C. native, I recall a time when you wouldn't want to be caught wearing Cowboys gear in town! Now the Commanders are a joke. The new owners will need to make football matter again in this town.


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