Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos may want to buy the Commanders so badly that he’d sell the Washington Post to soothe bad blood with owner Dan Snyder.
That’s all according to a report from the New York Post. And Snyder selling the team now appears as a near certainty. A week ago, NBC Washington reported new ownership could be in place as early as mid-March before NFL meetings at the end of the month.
The rumors about Jeff Bezos wanting the Commanders began breaking in the fall. Jay-Z, the rapper turned business mogul, also was supposed to be part of the group. Even Matthew McConaughey, a long-time Washington fan, reportedly wanted to be included.
However, NBC Washington and Front Office Sports indicated that Bezos did not submit an initial bid. They were due before Christmas. Bezos still could turn in a bid, but sources around the NFL have indicated that Snyder won’t sell to Bezos because of the Washington Post. The Post has done exhaustive investigative reporting about the Commanders and Snyder’s business practices.
Jeff Bezos Could Sell Post as Grand Gesture So He Could Buy Commanders
The New York Post indicated that Snyder believes that Bezos encouraged the Washington Post’s reporting on the team to force him to sell the franchise. It’s now on the market with an asking price of $7 billion. Bezos is the fourth richest person in the world with a fortune worth $120 billion.
Bezos bought the Washington Post in 2013 for $250 million. The publisher of the Post last month told employees that layoffs could be imminent. The talk grew louder last Thursday when Bezos dropped by the newsroom for a visit. He rarely is seen in the office. The NY Post said that Bezos told employees last week that the newspaper isn’t for sale. However, it’s also known that fellow billionaire Michael Bloomberg would like to purchase the Washington Post or the Wall Street Journal.
“I think Bezos’ people could go to Dan (Snyder) and say as a gesture of goodwill, ‘We are selling the paper,’” a source close to a potential Commanders buy told the New York Post. “I think that would go a long way with Dan.”
Snyder hired Bank of America to negotiate a sale of the Commanders. And according to the New York Post, BOA still is keeping in contact with Bezos about the football purchase.
Commanders Should Be Most Expensive Buy in NFL History
The asking price is $7 billion, although the highest bid in the most recent bid missed the price by $700 million. Any ownership group also would get FedEx Field as part of the deal. But the team likely needs to build a new stadium.
Whether Jeff Bezos buys the team or not, the sale of Commanders will be the most expensive in NFL history. Last summer, the Waltons, aka the richest family in the country, became part of the ownership group buying the Denver Broncos. The team cost $4.65 billion. That doubled the previous high paid for the Carolina Panthers in 2018.
If it’s not Jeff Bezos, who might buy the Commanders? Another top candidate is Josh Harris, the co-founder of Apollo Global Management. He already owns the Philadelphia 76ers in the NBA and the New Jersey Devils in the NHL.