The Washington Commanders have posted a “For Sale” sign with the transaction expected to be closed sometime this coming winter or early spring. Who will be the new owner(s)?
The NFL community was rocked last week and it had very little to do with the trade deadline. One day after a number of trades were made official on Tuesday, November the 1st, a stunning report from Forbes suddenly dropped in the mid-morning hours of November 2nd. The unthinkable happened – Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder was in the process of exploring a sale of the team – either as a full sale or a sale to minority partners.
The report caught NFL media, analysts, fans, and social media by surprise.
Over the last week, it was reported that Snyder is very likely to sell the entire franchise and hopes to complete the transaction by no later than the NFL owners’ meeting in late March. It is a dramatic turn of events and it began in October a few weeks ago when Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay launched a massive attack in the direction of Snyder.
Coupled with investigations from the league, Congress, and the attorneys general from Washington, D.C., and Virginia, Snyder appears to be conceding and will exit the owners club within the next few months.
Today, we will take a look at the potential owner candidates and offer our odds of who will be the next owner(s) of the Commanders. The odds come from the mind of yours truly and not from any betting service. With that in mind, let’s take a look now at the possible owners and owner groups.
Ranking Commanders potential new owner(s) by odds
The Bottom Tier
- Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Robert Griffin, III are two individuals who could be a very small part of an ownership group. RG3 and Junior simply don’t have the financial resources to make individual bids of their own. Junior could be included as a minority due to his fandom of the team and popularity as a racing icon. RG3 is not a realistic option. RG3 Odds: 1,000-1 and Junior Odds: 300-1
- Bain Capital co-chairman Steve Pagliuca has expressed interest in owning an NFL franchise, but his interest seems lukewarm at best. Odds: 275-1
- Ted Leonsis owns the Wizards, Capitals, and Nationals (soon). The NFL would likely frown on owning so many local teams and he has been non-committal on a Commanders bid. Odds: 250-1
- Elon Musk could be a candidate and he has more than enough money to own the team, buy the land to build a state-of-the-art headquarters, and build a brilliant new stadium. However, there seems to be no interest. Odds: 225-1
- The Mars Family could enter the fray. Their 32 year involvement with NASCAR ended a few days ago. The owners of local company Mars, Inc. (the makers of M&Ms, Snickers, 3 Musketeers, Pedigree, and many other brands) could have an eye on team ownership, but it seems like a longshot. Odds: 200-1
The Middle Tier
- Larry Ellison, a co-founder and executive chairman of the Oracle Corporation had an interest in owning an NFL team in the past, but his age may cause him to stay out of the bidding. Odds: 150:1
- Former Microsoft chairman and Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer has a genuine interest in owning an NFL team, but he is more of a west coast person. Odds: 125-1
- Michael Dell, the CEO of computer giant Dell Technologies, has more than a passing interest in owning an NFL franchise. However, it is not a burning desire. Odds: 100-1
- Mark Walter and Todd Boehly are co-owners of the Los Angeles Dodgers and partial owners of the Lakers. There is interest in owning the Commanders, but it doesn’t seem to be serious at this time. Odds: 75-1
The Upper Tier
- Clearlake Capital’s Jose Feliciano and Behdad Eghbail made a bid to buy the Denver Broncos, but their efforts came up short. Look for them to be in the mix for the Commanders. Odds: 40-1
- Media mogul Byron Allen will make a determined effort to buy the Commanders with the help of an investment group, but he faces an uphill battle. Odds: 18-1
- United Wholesale Mortgage president and CEO Mat Ishbia will make a run at owning the Commanders. He has deep pockets, but would come up short. Will he consider bringing in some investors? Odds: 12-1
- Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment co-founders Joshua Harris and David Blitzer own the Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Devils, and four other sports franchises. Look for them to be aggressive in their pursuit of the Commanders. Odds: 4-1
- Amazon founder and former CEO Jeff Bezos will partner with entertainment giant Jay-Z (Shawn Carter) and definitely submit a bid. They could bring basketball star Kevin Durant and actor Matthew McConaughey along for the ride. This group is the heavy favorite to be the next owners of the Commanders. Odds: 2-1
The next few months will be interesting and exciting. Major changes are coming to Ashburn. See you as we go along.