Jeff Bezos may be angling to buy the Washington Commanders, according to multiple reports.
Sources close to Bezos told People magazine and the Washington Post that Bezos, the second richest man in the world and founder of Amazon, is interested in buying the team, after it was announced that team owner Dan Synder was exploring potential transactions for the team. Snyder and the Commanders have been embroiled in a series of scandals in recent years, some of which have made the company a target of Congressional investigations.
The source told People that Bezos was “looking into buying the Washington Commanders.” Bezos may also be inclined to include rapper Jay-Z in his purchase. A separate source confirmed People’s report to the Washington Post. The source also said that both Bezos and Jay-Z were interested in buying the team, but he did not know whether or not the two moguls would partner on their offer.
Bezos has previously expressed interest in owning an NFL franchise. A CBS Sports report from 2019 said that Bezos had “become close with several current owners … and [had] strong support within the league to eventually join their ranks.” Snyder was one of the NFL owners Bezos had interacted with, CBS reported. Bezos had previously been rumored to be interested in buying the Seattle Seahawks after owner Paul Allen died in 2018. Meanwhile, Amazon, the company Bezos founded and serves as executive chairman of, currently holds exclusive broadcasting rights to “Thursday Night Football.”
Jay-Z previously owned a stake in the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets from 2004-2013. The rapper’s entertainment firm, Roc Nation, partnered with the NFL in 2019 to provide entertainment for live game experiences, including selecting talent for Super Bowl halftime shows and partnering with the NFL’s social justice initiatives.
Commanders owner Dan Snyder announced Wednesday that he and wife Tanya Snyder hired Bank of America Securities to “consider potential transactions” for the team, which could include adding a minority owner or selling the team outright. The team could fetch up to $5 billion on the market.
Earlier this year, Sportico listed Washington as the league’s eighth-most-valuable franchise, at $4.78 billion. Snyder bought a majority interest in the team in 1999 for $800 million and last year consolidated full ownership. The team was founded in 1932 as the Boston Braves, but moved to Washington five years later and was rechristened the Washington Redskins. In 2020, under pressure from activists, the team dropped the name and was known for the next two years as simply The Washington Football Team. This season, it unveiled its current name.
Snyder, 57, made his fortune in indoor advertising and marketing. His tenure as an NFL owner has been stormy, marked by a losing record and only a few brief playoff appearances. In addition, a 2021 investigation into the team’s workplace culture, prompted by an explosive Washington Post report alleging rampant sexual harassment, uncovered incidents of harassment, bullying, and intimidation throughout the organization.
The team was fined $10 million by the league, and Snyder was forced to relinquish his role in running the team’s day-to-day operations.
If the team is sold, it could be the second team under new ownership in less than a year. An ownership group led by Walmart heir S. Robson Walton purchased the Denver Broncos for $4.5 billion in June, the largest purchase of a sports team in history.
Greg Wilson contributed to this report.