Billionaire Wharton alumnus and prominent sports businessman Josh Harris is at the helm of a group has reached a tentative agreement to purchase the Washington Commanders NFL franchise. Sportico first reported last Thursday that the Harris-led group, which also includes fellow billionaire Mitchell Rales and former NBA star Earvin "Magic" Johnson, reached a tentative agreement to purchase the team for around $6 billion.
However, over the weekend, the viability of Harris' bid appeared to be in jeopardy, as Washington-based businessman Brian Davis reportedly made an approximately $7 billion bid to purchase the Commanders. But earlier on Monday, it appeared as though the Harris group's deal was nearing completion, as a tentative agreement between the consortium and current Commanders owner Dan Snyder was sent to the NFL for review.
Harris grew up outside of Washington in Chevy Chase, Md. and attended Penn for his undergraduate degree — graduating from the Wharton School in 1986. After attending Harvard Business School, Harris co-founded Apollo Global Management, a private equity firm. But in 2021, Harris announced he would be stepping down from day-to-day work at Apollo to focus on other ventures.
Harris is also a current owner of the Philadelphia 76ers. Harris and another Penn alumnus — 1991 Wharton graduate David Blitzer — purchased the Sixers in 2011 for $280 million. Harris and Blitzer are also active in other sports ventures as well, owning the New Jersey Devils and a share of the English Premier League team Crystal Palace F.C.
The Commanders have had a tumultuous tenure under the ownership of Snyder, who purchased the team in 1999, including allegations of sexual harassment and a toxic workplace culture that prompted numerous NFL and government investigations. The team hired Bank of America in November 2022 to explore a sale, a process which is now approaching its conclusion.