WASHINGTON — Dan Snyder has reached an agreement to sell the Washington Commanders for a record sum, but who exactly are the likely buyers of the team?
Thursday afternoon, sources told WUSA9 that Snyder has a deal in principle with a group of billionaires, two of whom have roots in the DMV.
The investment group behind the deal is led by Philadelphia 76ers co-owner Josh Harris, who joined DC philanthropist Mitchell Rales and NBA great Magic Johnson to pool together the multi-billion-dollar asking price. If the deal goes through at the $6.05 billion price WUSA9 has been told, it will be the highest price paid for a North American professional sports franchise.
Here's what we know about the likely new owners of the Washington Commanders.
According to Forbes, Harris is an American investor who is estimated to be worth around $6 billion. He appears to have most of his money from cofounding an investment firm, Apollo Global Management, in 1990 with two other billionaires.
In addition to being co-owner of the Philadelphia 76ers, Harris also reportedly has stakes in NHL's New Jersey Devils, NFL's Pittsburgh Steelers, and the English Premier League's Crystal Palace Football Club.
A profile in Forbes has Rales listed as an investor who founded a real estate investment trust with his brother in 1983. He is reportedly worth more than $5 billion.
The profile claims Rales and his brother gave shares of the investment firm Danaher to charitable foundations last June. Those shares were worth an estimated $1.5 billion.
Johnson, born Earvin Johnson, Jr., is a retired athlete who played in the NBA for more than a decade.
During his 13-year career, Johnson led the Los Angeles Lakers to five championships, including one in his rookie season in 1980. He was named one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history in 1996 and was inducted to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002.
The 63-year-old became an entrepreneur. His investment firm was estimated to be worth approximately $1 billion as of 2020.
Both Harris and Rales grew up in Montgomery County. Harris is a Chevy Chase, Maryland native, who attended the Field School in Northwest, D.C. Rales grew up in Bethesda, graduating from Walt Whitman High School.
Rales is perhaps best known for Glenstone, a modern art gallery he and his wife, Emily Rales, own in Potomac. In 2019, Rales did his first television interview with CBS Sunday Morning, at the property where he also lives. Glenstone is a 230-acre site with more than 1,300 works of art.
The art enthusiast is also the president of the National Gallery of Art.
The Rales family is no stranger to sports either.
In the early 1990’s, Rales’ brother, Steven, considered joining Peter Angelos’ Baltimore Orioles ownership team, according to the Washington Post. At the time, both Rales brothers also owned the station that would go on to become the sports radio station WTEM Team 980.