Jeff Bezos may soon be bringing his ruthless efficiency to Fed Ex Field.
The Washington Post reports, “Bezos is working with Allen & Company, a New York-based firm that is prominent in transactions involving professional sports franchises, according to those people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the confidential nature of the deliberations.
It remains unclear whether Bezos, who owns The Washington Post, will make a bid to purchase Washington’s NFL team from owner Daniel Snyder. But his association with Allen & Company represents a concrete sign of his interest in conducting due diligence and potentially in moving forward in the process.
The firm handled the two most recent sales of NFL franchises, those involving the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos. The Panthers were sold in 2018 by Jerry Richardson to David Tepper for $2.275 billion. The Broncos were sold last year by the Pat Bowlen Trust to a group led by Walmart heir Rob Walton for $4.65 billion, the record sale price for an NFL team.
Snyder and his wife, Tanya, the team’s co-CEO, announced in November that they hired Bank of America to consider possible transactions involving the Commanders. The team has not said whether the Snyders will sell all or part of the franchise. Four people familiar with the process said in December they believe that a sale of the entire franchise is the most likely outcome.”
Bezos has become a significant figure in the nation’s capital. Along with buying The Post, in 2016, he paid $23 million for two side-by-side historic mansions in Washington, D.C. The Wall Street Journal noted that “the sprawling early-1900s houses had been a museum, but Mr. Bezos converted them into a massive home, where he has since thrown glittering parties attended by the likes of Bill Gates and Ivanka Trump.”
While he’s one of the richest people in the world, Bezos may have some competition if he wants to nab the historic NFL team. The Washington Examinerwrites, “A potential buyer of the Commanders, Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils owner Josh Harris, visited the team’s facilities in Ashburn, Virginia, earlier this month. Harris has reportedly placed a bid for the team, but the details of the offer are unknown. He attempted to buy the Denver Broncos last year but was outbid by Walmart heir Rob Walton.
The league has not forced the sale of the Commanders but has increasingly pressured owner Dan Snyder to make changes to the team in recent years. In 2020, Snyder announced the team would retire the “Redskins” name, opting to be called the “Washington Football Team” for the 2020 and 2021 seasons before rebranding as the “Commanders” in 2022.
The newspaper also reported that the “Commanders are aiming to get a sale done within the next few weeks before the annual league owners meeting, which is currently scheduled for March 26-29 in Phoenix, Arizona. A sale of the team would require three-fourths of teams in the league, 24 of the 32, to approve the selected bid.”