Josh Harris group closes deal to buy Commanders from Daniel Snyder

Josh Harris’s ownership group closed its $6.05 billion deal Friday to purchase the Washington Commanders from Daniel Snyder, formally marking the franchise’s first ownership change since Snyder bought the team from the Jack Kent Cooke estate in 1999.

The official closing of the transaction was confirmed by two people familiar with the sale deliberations. It came one day after NFL team owners voted, 32-0, during a special league meeting Thursday in Bloomington, Minn., to approve the sale. It is the record sale price for an NFL franchise.

Harris and Mitchell Rales, his top investor in the Commanders, were in the D.C. area Friday after attending Thursday’s meeting in Minnesota. They and other members of their ownership group, including NBA great Earvin “Magic” Johnson and D.C.-area venture capitalist Mark Ein, were scheduled to participate in an afternoon news conference at FedEx Field being held in conjunction with a fan event.

The new owners received a standing ovation from Commanders employees during a town hall at the stadium held before the public fan rally.

The Harris group takes ownership of the Commanders five days ahead of Wednesday’s opening of the team’s training camp. Harris, a private equity investor, already owns the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers and the NHL’s New Jersey Devils. He and David Blitzer, Harris’s partner in Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment and an inventor in the Commanders, must sell their shares in the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers now that the deal with Snyder has closed.

Snyder officially leaves the NFL after a turbulent 24-year ownership tenure. He will pay the NFL $60 million as part of the closing of the sale after the league’s investigation led by attorney Mary Jo White concluded that the team withheld revenue that should have been shared with other franchises and that Snyder sexually harassed a former team employee.

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