NFL receives Harris-Snyder purchase agreement for Commanders

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The NFL has received the paperwork for the agreement for Josh Harris to purchase the Washington Commanders from owner Dan Snyder, according to reports.

The development marks a crucial step in the process as the league has to sign off on any deal for ownership to change hands. According to Sportico, which first reported that the NFL is reviewing the agreement, the league will now look over the terms and “return it to the parties for alteration or, if approved, signatures.” 

If all parties sign off on the deal, the agreement would then be resubmitted for final approval from the league’s owners. The deal must receive at least 24 votes from owners to be completed. A meeting for a vote could in theory be called at any time, though NFL owners are scheduled to meet in Minneapolis from May 22-24 — presenting a key opportunity for a vote to be taken. 

Last week, Snyder reached an agreement in principle to sell the Commanders to an investment group led by Harris for $6.05 billion. The agreement is nonexclusive, which means another bidder still has time to try and buy the team until the contracts are signed. Canadian billionaire Steve Apostolopoulos has reportedly submitted a $6 billion offer for the franchise. 

The NFL’s process of reviewing the terms and Harris’ ownership group could take time. With the sale of the Denver Broncos last year, it took the NFL two months for a vote to be called upon Pat Bowlen’s family announcement that they had struck a deal with a group led by Walmart heir Rob Walton. 

The Broncos sold for $4.65 billion. Harris’ price for the Commanders would set a record for the price of a professional sports team. 

Harris and company must be vetted by the league. The 58-year-old, who is the managing owner of the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers and NHL’s New Jersey Devils, is already a minority owner in the Pittsburgh Steelers as he reportedly owns a 5% stake.  Harris’ group to buy the Commanders includes Maryland billionaire Mitchell Rales and NBA legend Magic Johnson. 

Snyder, meanwhile, bought the team for $800 million in 1999. 

The Commanders, a spokesperson for Harris and the NFL all declined to comment. 

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