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According to NBC News, Dan Synder has officially reached an agreement to sell the Washington Commanders to the group led by Philadelphia 76ers co-owner Josh Harris. Once closed, as it is still pending the approval of three-quarters of NFL owners, as well as customary closing conditions, the deal is worth $6.05 billion – reportedly making it the most expensive purchase for a North American team in sports history.
I could not be more excited to be a partner in the proposed new ownership group for the Washington Commanders. Josh Harris has assembled an amazing group who share a commitment to not only doing great things on the field but to making a real impact in the DMV community. I’m so…
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) May 12, 2023
“On behalf of our entire ownership group — including Mitch Rales, my longtime sports business partner David Blitzer and Earvin Magic Johnson — I want to express how excited we are to be considered by the NFL to be the next owners of the Washington Commanders and how committed we are to delivering a championship-caliber franchise for this city and its fanbase,” Harris said in an official statement shared on Friday (May 12).
The Ownership Group
As the co-founder of Apollo Global Management, Harris is no stranger to sports ownership. Along with his stake in the 76ers, he is also the owner of the New Jersey Devils. Additionally, he is a shareholder of Crystal Palace F.C., an English soccer club.
As previously reported by AfroTech, the group’s plans to purchase the Commanders have been in the works.
Together, Harris and former NBA superstar Johnson had also attempted to purchase the Denver Broncos but ultimately fell short. Now, their ownership dreams coming true is on pending status following the NFL Draft, which took place April 27-29.
Football and basketball aren’t the only sports that Johnson has put his money behind.
Johnson's Ownership History
In fact, Johnson also owns a minority stake in the MLB’s Los Angeles Dodgers, which he used $50 million of his own funds to purchase, per a report from CBS News. He also has ownership of the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks and Los Angeles Football Club.
During a previous interview on “Today,” Johnson shared his excitement about potentially owning an NFL team.
“I’ve got a ring in every sport, but I need a Super Bowl ring,” Johnson said. “And I would love to be (part) owner of the Commanders to not only do the great work on the field but the work we would do with the city. I think if they bless us — Mr. Snyder blesses us — with the opportunity to be an owner, it would be an emotional day for me. My father just died, so it would be a great moment for the Johnson family as well as Josh Harris, who is the lead partner in this, to take that franchise and take it to another level. So, I’m kind of excited about it. And another African-American owner.”
After final approval from the remaining NFL owners as well as other customary closing conditions, Johnson can add owning a football team to his impressive portfolio.