Magic Johnson Joins Bid To Purchase NFL’s Washington Commanders


Reportedly, billionaire Josh Harris is bidding to purchase the Washington Commanders, and his bid has received some magical support. According to a report by Sportico, NBA legend and Hall of Famer Magic Johnson will be joining the group assembled by Harris to make the purchase. While the amount Johnson is investing is unknown, the group already has considerable financial backing. Along with Harris, who has a net worth exceeding $7 billion as co-founder and managing partner at Apollo Global Management, the group reportedly includes American businessman Michell Rales, who is worth over $6.5 billion.

Past Offers For NFL Organizations

Harris and Magic have extensive experience purchasing sports teams and being part of ownership groups. Magic, for instance, is a part-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers and holds stakes in the Los Angeles Sparks and Los Angeles FC. He reportedly considered buying into the Las Vegas Raiders in the past year. Meanwhile, Harris has ownership stakes in several sports franchises, including the Philadelphia 76ers, the New Jersey Devils, and Crystal Palace FC, where he is a shareholder.

Interestingly, this isn’t the first time that Harris and Magic have teamed up for a potential team acquisition. They were both part of an ownership group that attempted to purchase the Denver Broncos in 2022. However, their bid was unsuccessful. The franchise was ultimately sold to the Walton family for a whopping $4.65 billion, currently, the highest recorded price paid for a sports team in the U.S.

The sale of the Commanders is expected to top that by $500 million or more. Forbes placed a $5.6 billion valuation on the team, nearly $1 billion more than the Broncos’ sale price. While the Commanders are likely using their own valuation figures, the unofficial valuation does one thing: set the expectation that when the Commanders sell, it’ll be for more money than anyone has ever paid to own an American sports team.

Other Potential Bidders

In November, reports emerged that Byron Allen, the founder, owner, and CEO of Entertainment Studios, also known as the Allen Media Group, was working alongside an investor group to make a bid for the Washington Commanders. Allen had previously submitted a bid to purchase the Denver Broncos but was unsuccessful in his efforts, also losing out to the Walton-Penner Family Ownership Group. If his bid for the Commanders succeeded, Allen would become the first Black owner of an NFL team.

Behdad Eghbali and José Feliciano, co-founders of Clearlake Capital, are also being considered as potential dark-horse candidates to purchase the Washington Commanders. The two billionaires have the financial resources to afford the team at Snyder’s asking price jointly and have previously expressed interest in owning an NFL team. Similar to Allen, Eghbali, and Feliciano submitted a bid to purchase the Denver Broncos last year and were leading contenders for some time.

In 2020, the pair also attempted to buy a 40% stake in the Commanders when minority owners were backing out due to reports of a toxic workplace. However, Snyder blocked the sale after feuding with the selling minority owner and ultimately decided to buy out the rest of the team.

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