Steelers Minority Owner to Purchase Washington Commanders
Pittsburgh Steelers minority owner Josh Harris is nearing a $6 billion deal to become the next owner of the Washington Commanders, according to multiple media reports. The Commanders are being sold under pressure from the NFL by Daniel Snyder, after he was accused of financial improprieties.
Harris has owned a stake in the Steelers of less than 5%, since 2020, when he and David Blitzer made a $140 million investment in the pro football franchise.
Blitzer is Harris’ partner in Harris Blitzer Sport and Entertainment, through which the duo owns the Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Devils and Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. Harris is also a partner of Crystal Palace F.C. in the English Premier League.
A private equity investor, Harris is from Chevy Chase, Maryland and is worth approximately $6 billion, according to Forbes. Blitzer is not among the reported partners Harris has assembled for the purchase of the Commanders, which include businessman Mitchell Rales and NBA legend Magic Johnson.
Harris will have to sell his shares in the Steelers after he is confirmed as the next owner of the Commanders by NFL ownership in May. He is poised to become the second Steelers minority owner to take full ownership of another NFL team. Current Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam was first a minority owner of the Steelers before buying the Brows in 2012.
Haslam sold his shares of the Steelers to Scott and Russ Swank in 2013, about a year after purchasing the Browns.
The Steelers list about 20 minority owners in addition to president Art Rooney II, including Harris and Blitzer, Swank, five members of the Rooney and McGinley families, former Steelers wide receiver John Stallworth, Allegheny Energy president Paul Evanson, LendingTree CEO Doug Lebda, former Illinois governor Bruce Rauner and former Legendary Entertainment CEO Thomas Tull.
According to Statista, the Steelers were valued at $3 billion in 2020 and are currently worth $3.975 billion, so Harris could net close to a 133% return on his investment.