Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder has reached an agreement in principle to sell the National Football League (NFL) team to a group led by the co-owner of the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers, Josh Harris, according to a Sportico report on Thursday.
The report, which sourced people familiar with the matter but who were granted anonymity as they were not authorized to discuss the transaction publicly, said the two sides were hoping to execute a contract in the coming days.
The Commanders, NFL and a spokesman at Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment (HBSE), where Harris serves as managing general partner, all declined to comment.
In connection with the HBSE portfolio, Harris is managing partner of the 76ers, National Hockey League’s New Jersey Devils and a general partner at Premier League soccer club Crystal Palace.
Outside of HBSE, Harris is the co-founder of Apollo Global Management, which according to its website is the second-largest alternatives and largest alternative credit manager.
Snyder bought the Washington franchise in 1999 for $800 million and his ownership of the club has come under pressure amid investigations by the NFL and Congress into the team’s workplace culture and potential financial improprieties.
In 2021 the NFL fined the Commanders $10 million after an independent counsel review found the workplace demonstrated “a general lack of respect” toward women.
The Commanders said last November that Snyder would explore a potential sale of the team, one of the NFL’s marquee sides, which was ranked by Forbes in 2022 as the league’s sixth-most valuable franchise at $5.6 billion.
The following month the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform said in a report after a year-long investigation that Snyder both “permitted and participated” in the team’s toxic workplace culture while the NFL helped to cover it up.
The committee’s final report said sexual harassment, bullying, and other toxic conduct pervaded the team’s workplace, perpetuated by a culture of fear instilled by Snyder.
The report also stated that despite the NFL’s knowledge — through its internal investigation — that Snyder engaged in tactics used to intimidate victims, the league aligned its legal interests with the Commanders and buried its findings.