Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Jeff Bezos Interested in Bidding for the NFL’s Washington Commanders, with Jay-Z as Potential Investor

A day after Washington Commanders confirmed that billionaire owners Daniel and Tanya Snyder are looking at selling the team due to renewed pressure to step down, speculation about prospective buyers was widely spread. At least one prominent name confirmed as being interested: Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. According to Forbes, Bezos has a net worth of $113.2 billion, making him the world’s fourth-richest person.

Bezos is interested in bidding for the NFL franchise, and his bid could include music mogul Jay-Z as an investor, according to a source familiar with the matter. Jay-Z has an estimated net worth of $1.3 billion and was formerly a part-owner of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets. Because the potential sale of the franchise is still in its early stages, the individual spoke on condition of anonymity on Thursday.

“I don’t know if they will partner on it,” the insider remarked, adding that each is “interested.”

Jeff Bezos owns the Washington Post. The NFL’s “Thursday Night Football” package is exclusively available on Amazon.

For several years, some in the league have speculated that Bezos was interested in owning an NFL franchise at some point. He did not appear to have entered the bidding for the Denver Broncos, who were sold by the Pat Bowlen Trust in June for $4.65 billion to a consortium led by Walmart heir Rob Walton.

The Commanders said on Wednesday that Bank of America Corp. was appointed to “consider potential transactions” by Daniel and Tanya Snyder, his wife and the franchise’s co-CEO. The team did not mention the Snyders’ intentions to sell the entire franchise or just a portion.

“We are exploring all options,” a Commanders official stated Wednesday.

The possibility of the sale is in talks following the investigation of Snyder and the Commanders by the NFL, the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, and the attorneys general of D.C. and Virginia. Multiple persons familiar with the case stated Wednesday that investigators for the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia had examined witnesses regarding suspicions of financial misconduct involving the team. The team has denied any financial impropriety.

According to Forbes, the Commanders are worth $5.6 billion. The day after the Commanders announced their intentions, many in and around the NFL began to analyze a list of potential buyers, which may include some of the world’s wealthiest individuals.

A source who also spoke on the condition of anonymity because the process is still in its early stages said that media entrepreneur Byron Allen, who previously made a bid for the Broncos, is also preparing a proposal for the Commanders. After the owners signed a resolution in March promoting diversity in franchise ownership, Allen would, if successful, become the NFL’s first Black principal team owner.

Industry analysts and other observers have named Bezos and Jay-Z; Tesla CEO Elon Musk; Ted Leonsis, owner of the Washington Wizards and Capitals; David Rubenstein, co-founder of the Carlyle Group; and Clearlake Capital co-founders Behdad Eghbali and Jose E. Feliciano, along with other former bidders for the Broncos. “Owning an NFL team is the ultimate trophy,” said former D.C. Council member Jack Evans over the phone Thursday. “More so than a baseball team, more so than anything else for those with that kind of money. It limits, though, the field of who can buy it. The leagues want a person. They don’t want a group.”