The Washington Commanders aren’t officially up for sale yet, but — especially considering the controversy surrounding owner Daniel Snyder — that feels imminent.
And at least one prominent billionaire is reportedly seriously interested in buying the franchise.
According to The Washington Post, among others, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is legitimately interested in bidding on the Commanders should they go up for sale. Such a bid could also include rapper/producer Jay-Z, per the report.
Bezos currently owns The Washington Post, though People and Bloomberg have also reported on his interest. Bezos also has a big connection with the league already. Amazon is now the exclusive broadcaster for “Thursday Night Football” this season, which marks the first streaming-only option in league history.
Now, there have been rumors that Bezos has wanted an NFL team for some time. He did not attempt to purchase the Denver Broncos earlier this year, however. An ownership group led by Walmart heir Rob Walton officially took over the Broncos after a record $4.65 billion sale. That made Walton the league’s richest owner with an estimated net worth of more than $59 billion.
Bezos would shatter that mark should he take over the Commanders. He currently has an estimated net worth of $171 billion, which is second in the world to only Tesla owner and new Twitter boss Elon Musk.
Dan and Tanya Snyder announced earlier this week that they have hired BofA Securities to “consider potential transactions” regarding the possible sale of the Commanders. Though they said they were just “exploring all options,” this could be the first move made before a sale.
Just hours later, however, the U.S. attorney’s office in the Eastern District of Virginia announced it had opened a criminal investigation into the team. That stemmed from a letter from the House Committee on Oversight and Reform earlier this year in which it claimed to have evidence of the team underreporting ticket revenue, withholding security deposit money from fans and more. The Commanders have denied those allegations.
The Commanders were valued at about $5.6 billion by Forbes earlier this year, which made them the sixth-most valuable franchise in the league. The Dallas Cowboys topped the list at about $8 billion.
Many expect that, if the Snyders do sell, they would set a new record for sale price.
There are other rumored parties interested in buying the Commanders. According to The Washington Post, the list includes Musk, Washington Wizards and Capitals owner Ted Leonsis, Clearlake Capital co-founders Behdad Eghbali and Jose E. Feliciano and media entrepreneur Byron Allen. If Allen were to get the team, he’d be the first Black principal team owner.