WASHINGTON - NFL owners are set to meet July 20 to consider and potentially vote to approve the sale of the Washington Commanders, a person with knowledge of the situation said Friday.
The person said teams were notified Thursday of a special league meeting that will take place in Minneapolis. The person spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because the league meeting was not announced.
Three-quarters — 24 of the league’s 32 owners — approval is needed to finalize the deal between Dan Snyder and his family and a group led by Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils owner Josh Harris. Basketball Hall of Famer Magic Johnson is also among those involved in the incoming ownership group.
The deal is for a North American professional sports record $6.05 billion, surpassing the $4.55 billion Walmart heir Robert Walton paid for the Denver Broncos last year.
Snyder and Harris’ group had a deal in principle for the Commanders in April, then came to a firm agreement in May. One of the next steps was the approval of the NFL’s finance committee before going to the full ownership group for consideration.
If approved next month, it would pave the way for new ownership to take control before the start of the regular season in September.
Snyder has owned his favorite boyhood team since 1999 when he bought it for $750 million, and despite mounting criticism repeatedly said he’d never sell. That changed after multiple investigations by the league and Congress into Washington’s workplace misconduct and potential financial improprieties. The congressional investigation found Snyder played a role in a toxic culture.
Harris’ group includes Washington-area billionaire Mitchell Rales, the basketball Hall of Famer Johnson and David Blitzer, among others. Harris and Blitzer have owned the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers since 2011 and the NHL’s New Jersey Devils since 2013.
"Josh Harris has assembled an amazing group who share a commitment to not only doing great things on the field but to making a real impact in the (Washington-area) community," Johnson tweeted in May. "I’m so excited to get to work on executing our vision for the Commanders and our loyal fanbase."
Harris grew up in the Washington suburb of Chevy Chase, Maryland. He said he got to experience the excitement of the team winning three Super Bowls and establishing a long-term culture of success.
"We look forward to running a world-class organization and making significant investments on and off the field to achieve excellence and have a lasting and positive impact on the community," Harris said.
The new owners’ first major task for the long-term future of the organization is a new stadium to replace FedEx Field, the rushed-to-completion home of the team since 1997 in Landover, Maryland, that has not aged well. Virginia abandoned a stadium bill last year amid a number of off-field controversies swirling around the team, though possibilities exist to build there, in Maryland or the District of Columbia at the site of the team’s former home, RFK Stadium.