Sources: Two groups submit $6 billion bids for Commanders

ByABC News
March 28, 2023, 2:19 PM

The Josh Harris/Mitchell Rales group, which now includes Magic Johnson, officially submitted a fully financed bid for the Washington Commanders that meets Dan Snyder's $6 billion asking price, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter on Tuesday.

Canadian billionaire Steve Apostolopoulos also has submitted a fully funded $6 billion offer for the Commanders, sources told Schefter and ESPN's Brian Windhorst on Tuesday.

If either bid is accepted, the deal would break the previous record sale for a franchise, set in August, when a group led by Walmart heir Rob Walton bought the Denver Broncos for $4.65 billion.

Tilman Fertitta, owner of the NBA's Houston Rockets, also is interested in purchasing the Commanders. There is another anonymous group that has toured the facilities, as well, multiple sources involved in the process have told ESPN.

Once Snyder accepts an offer, he must submit the bidder's name to the NFL for approval. Three-quarters of the owners would need to approve any sale.

The Harris Blitzer Sports and Entertainment also owns the Philadelphia 76ers and the New Jersey Devils. Harris and David Blitzer also own part of Crystal Palace Football Club of the English Premier League.

Harris, who grew up in Bethesda, Maryland, co-founded Apollo Management in 1990, an asset management firm. He has a net worth of $5.8 billion, according to Forbes.

Rales, a D.C. billionaire, is also part of Harris' group. Rales has a net worth of $5.5 billion, according to Forbes.

Apostolopoulos is the managing partner of Triple Group of Companies, a Toronto-based property management firm. He also founded Six Ventures Inc., a private equity venture fund. Apostolopoulos co-founded Caary Capital with business partner Jason Sawyer.

A Toronto native who attended Harvard, Apostolopoulos also had looked into buying the NBA's Charlotte Hornets, before focusing solely on the Commanders, sources told ESPN.

His father, Andreas, died two years ago at age 69 with the family having a net worth of $3.9 billion, according to The Globe and Mail. He immigrated to Canada from Greece in 1969. He later started his own companies -- one that cleaned offices and later a plastic bag manufacturing firm. Eventually, he became involved in real estate, starting Triple Group and building the family's wealth.

Snyder led a group that purchased the Washington NFL franchise in 1999 for $800 million.

Last fall, with multiple investigations ongoing into the team's workplace culture and finances, Snyder and his wife, Tanya, hired a firm to explore selling part or all of the team. That came two weeks after Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay said there was "merit to remove" Snyder, which would take an unprecedented vote of 24 of the other 31 owners.

Also on Tuesday, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell reiterated that the league will release the findings of the Mary Jo White investigation into Snyder, regardless of when the team is sold. Goodell has maintained this stance since White began her investigation in February 2022. She began by looking into an accusation made that month of sexual misconduct by Snyder, but now she is investigating financial issues, as well.

"We made a commitment publicly, we made it in front of Congress, we made it to our clubs, so we'll continue with that," Goodell said at the league's annual meeting. He also said the league's owners were told that White was "in the middle of her process."

Shortly before Goodell addressed the media to conclude the annual meeting, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he was fine with the report being released because, he said, "I know everything in the report."

Goodell said, "That would be impossible, because the only person I know that knows anything about the investigation is Mary Jo White and her counterparts. Mary Jo White is incredibly thorough. She's not giving access to anybody. I'm comfortable with that point."

ESPN's John Keim and The Associated Press contributed to this report.