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Steelers Minority Owner Purchases Washington Commanders



Steelers Minority Owner Josh Harris

With the approval of the rest of the NFL owners, Pittsburgh Steelers minority owner Josh Harris has completed a $6 billion deal to become the next owner of the Washington Commanders, the league announced on Thursday. The Commanders are being sold under pressure from the NFL by Daniel Snyder, after he was accused of financial improprieties.

“Congratulations to Josh Harris and his impressive group of partners,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a press release. “Josh will be a great addition to the NFL. He has a remarkable record in business, sports, and in his communities. The diverse group that Josh has put together is outstanding for its business acumen and strong Washington ties and we welcome them to the NFL as well.

“I met Josh several years ago, prior to his acquisition of an interest in the Steelers and have been fortunate to get to know him better over the past few months. I know he has a commitment to winning on the field, but also to running an organization that everyone will be proud of — and to making positive contributions in the community.”

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. 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 now that he has taken control of the Commanders. He is poised to become the third 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.

Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper also owned a 5% share of the Steelers before finalizing his purchase of that franchise. He sold that stake in 2019, a year after finalizing his purchase of the Panthers, to LendingTree CEO Doug Lebda and the NC Revocable Trust, along with some shares that were sold back to the Rooney family.

The Steelers list about 20 minority owners in addition to president Art Rooney II, including Harris and Blitzer, the Swanks, Lebda, five members of the Rooney and McGinley families, former Steelers wide receiver John Stallworth, Allegheny Energy president Paul Evanson, 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.

This article was updated.