The proposal to buy the Washington Commanders led by Philadelphia 76ers team owner Josh Harris remains on the table and while it may not be finalized until the NFL holds a league meeting in late May, some details of the $6.05 billion bid have surfaced.
Harris would own 30 percent of the team and be the managing partner under the proposal, Mike Ozanian of Forbes reports. NFL league rules stipulate that majority team owners must have at least 30 percent stake in the team.
To become a team owner in the NFL, there is typically a rigorous vetting process. Harris has been in the running for other NFL teams in the past, including the Denver Broncos last year. ESPN’s John Keim writes that the league is “familiar” with Harris, so it’s probably safe to assume that the Maryland-born investor and philanthropist will have no issue entering what is arguably one of the most exclusive groups in the United States: the NFL ownership circle.
The NFL allows a maximum of $1.1 billion in debt when purchasing a franchise. As Ozanian points out, Harris would have to put in nearly $1.5 billion in equity assuming he fully utilizes that option.
Under the Harris-led proposal, the remaining 70 percent of the Commanders would be owned by 17 limited partners, including Maryland native Mitchell Rales.
Details on Magic Johnson‘s Slice of Washington Commanders
NBA legend Magic Johnson would be one of the 17 limited partners and own four percent of the Commanders should the current proposal of the bid go through.
Johnson will reportedly be putting up $240 million to secure his piece of the franchise (h/t Mike Florio of NBC Sports).
Johnson, who won five NBA titles with the Lakers and one Olympic Gold Medal as a member of the 1992 Dream Team, is not new to the professional sports ownership world. In 2012, he joined a group that bought the Los Angeles Dodgers (MLB) and has since also become part-owner of the Los Angeles Sparks (WNBA) and Los Angeles FC (MLS).
“I’ve gotten a [championship] ring in every sport, but I need a Super Bowl ring. And I would love to be the owner of the Commanders to do not only great work on the field but the work we could do with the city.” Johnson said during an April appearance on the Today Show.
Commanders’ Sale Similar to Cleveland Browns’ Purchase?
The proposed terms of the deal, $5.8 billion would be owed to Daniel Synder’s group immediately with the other $250 million to be paid over the next two years, per Ozanian’s reporting.
The $6.05 billion purchase price would be reduced to about $6 billion discounting the $250 million over two years.
Another NFL team that was bought over time is the Cleveland Browns, under Jimmy Haslam’s 2012 purchase.
The Cleveland Browns were purchased for $1 billion in 2012.