WFT owner Dan Snyder, center, before a game between the Washington Football Team and the New York Giants at FedEx Field in Landover, MD on November 8, 2020.
John McDonnell | The Washington Post | Getty Images
Washington Football Team owner Dan Snyder is close to buying the minority shares of his club for more than $800 million, according to the New York Times.
Snyder will seek approval from National Football League owners to take on $450 million in debt to buy the remaining 40.5% of the club shares for $875 million, the Times reported on Wednesday. The move would give Snyder complete control of the WFT.
NFL owners are scheduled to vote on Snyder’s debt request next week.
“The transaction is subject to three-fourths approval of full membership-24 of 32 clubs,” the NFL said in a statement. “The annual league meeting is slated for Tuesday and Wednesday, at which time there would be a vote.”
Owners of the minority shares include FedEx CEO Frederick Smith, who pushed for the team to drop its former name last year. Team sponsors, including Bank of America, Nike, Pepsi, and FedEx, which owns the naming rights to the team’s home stadium in Maryland, all came out against the previous team name. It prompted Snyder, 56, to change the name.
The issue was a part of a rocky 2020 centered around misconduct in the club’s workplace.
The team is currently under an independent investigation by attorney Beth Wilkinson after a report last summer in The Washington Post alleged sexual harassment and mistreatment of female employees.
Source: Washington Football Team
Snyder hired the NFL’s first Black team president in Jason Wright, who replaced Bruce Allen. In an interview with CNBC last August, Wright said the team would repair its damaged image. “I’m glad we are where we are now,” Write said. “I think we’re in the right spot.”
Last season, the WFT made the playoffs for the first time since 2015, falling to eventual Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFL’s wildcard game.
Snyder took over ownership when he purchased the team for $800 million in 1999. The WFT is now worth $3.5 billion according to Forbes, who noted the club brings in roughly $500 million in annual revenue.