Commanders closes sale; Josh Harris takes over for Daniel Snyder

Josh Harris’ ownership group completed its $6.05 billion deal to buy the Washington Commanders from Daniel Snyder on Friday, formally marking the franchise’s first ownership change since Snyder bought the team from the Jack Kent Cooke estate in 1999.

The official closing of the transaction was confirmed by two people familiar with the sale discussions. NFL team owners approved the sale at a special league meeting Thursday in Bloomington, Minn., a day after they voted 32-0. That’s a record sale price for an NFL franchise.

Harris and Mitchell Rales, his top investor in Commanders, were in the DC area Friday after attending Thursday’s meeting in Minnesota. They and other members of their ownership group, including NBA great Ervin “Magic” Johnson and DC-area venture capitalist Mark Ein, were scheduled to take part in an afternoon news conference at FedEx Field that would coincide with a fan event.

The new owners received a standing ovation from the Commanders staff during a town hall held at the stadium prior to the public fan rally.

Harris’ team takes ownership of the Chiefs five days before the team’s opening training camp on Wednesday. Harris, a private equity investor, already owns the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers and the NHL’s New Jersey Devils. David Blitzer, Harris’s partner at Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment and an investor in the Commanders, must sell his stake in the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers now that his deal with Snyder is up.

Snyder is officially out of the NFL after a tumultuous 24-year tenure as a franchise. The league’s investigation, led by attorney Mary Jo White, concluded that the team withheld revenue that should have been shared with other owners and that Snyder sexually harassed a former team employee, who will pay the NFL $60 million as part of the sale.

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