After months and months of controversies and drama, Dan and Tanya Snyder announced in a terse press release that they have hired Bank of America Securities to consider “potential transactions,” which presumably means a partial or total sale of the Washington Commanders (NFL).
What that means for Commanders isn’t clear yet; it could very well be owner Dan Snyder and co-chief executive officer Tanya Snider may be exploring something less than a full sale of the NFL club–a sale that’s been pushed by many in the sports world–in favor of a new ownership group still headed by the Snyders.
“The Snyders remain committed to the team, all of its employees and its countless fans to putting the best product on the field and continuing the work to set the gold standard for workplaces in the NFL,” said the release.
This action is likely to heavily impact the team’s search for a new stadium and likely associated development to replace FedEx Field
Snyder has owned the team since 1999, but in recent years the Commanders front office has been rocked by allegations of sexism, and been the subject of an ongoing investigation by the NFL (conducted by former U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White), attorneys general of D.C. and Virginia. and the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform. In the meantime the on-field product has suffered, and the team has been unable to close on a new-stadium development plan. Owners, including Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay, has said a removal of Snyder as Commanders owner should be considered.
As noted, the team’s pursuit of a new stadium and development has been hampered by these multiple investigations, as the team held talks with Virginia, Maryland and District of Columbia legislators over a new facility. The most recent talks involved the state of Virginia, but the Washington Post is reporting those talks are now on hold:
The team’s announcement Wednesday also comes with negotiations for public financing for a potential new stadium for the Commanders stalled. The state legislator who led efforts to lure the Commanders to Virginia said in June those attempts had been halted. State Senate Majority Leader Richard L. Saslaw (D-Fairfax) said then: “There were just so many things out there that a lot of people are saying, ‘Saslaw, this thing needs to wait.’ ”
Conceivably, a new owner could swoop in and reset any past new-stadium negotiations.
Photo courtesy Washington Commanders.