UPDATED, July 24, 6:30 p.m. EST
It’s lastly official. The long-awaited sale of the Washington Commanders soccer franchise is lastly within the books.
Throughout a particular league assembly in Bloomington, Minnesota, on Thursday, the NFL workforce homeowners unanimously permitted a gaggle led by Josh Harris to buy the franchise. It got here at a hefty price ticket — a record-breaking $6.05 billion. Harris and his group bought the franchise from former proprietor Daniel Snyder, who owned the native workforce since 1999 when he purchased it from the late Jack Kent Cooke for $800 million in 1999.
Harris’s group contains NBA Corridor of Famer Earvin “Magic”Johnson and billionaire Mitchell Rales, who, like Harris, is from Maryland. There are 20 restricted companions within the Harris group, slightly below the NFL possession restrict of 25. Every companion needed to be vetted for monetary and safety causes.
Johnson wrote in a tweet following the announcement, “God is so good…I nonetheless can’t consider it! I’m at the moment residing in an answered prayer. Since starting my journey as an athlete and now businessman and workforce proprietor, it’s all been a dream that has come full circle.
“I grew up enjoying soccer as a child, I’m an enormous NFL fan, and I watch video games each week,” Johnson continued. “Now, I get to co-own a storied franchise, the Washington Commanders.”
Remembering the Commanders’ Glory Days
Throughout the 80s and early 90s, the hometown workforce was among the many most revered within the NFL, successful 4 Tremendous Bowls and 5 NFC championships. The workforce was so common that there was an unbelievable ready checklist of followers vying to buy season tickets.
Following the acquisition of the workforce by Snyder, issues modified dramatically. It was fraught with a number of teaching modifications, a carousel of quarterbacks, and failure to make the playoffs.
At a press convention saying the acquisition, Harris instructed reporters, “As a lifelong Washington soccer fan that grew up in Chevy Chase, I’m extremely excited and humbled by the chance to serve alongside my companions as stewards of this nice franchise on behalf of Washington, D.C.”
“One among my first recollections as a toddler was strolling down east Capitol Avenue, strolling within the RFK Stadium, listening to the roar of the group, feeling the rumble,” Harris added. “I grew up watching Sonny Jurgensen, Billy Kilmer, Joe Theismann, Mark Ripkin, and Doug Williams. The Hogs, Joe Gibbs, Darrell Inexperienced, Artwork Monk, and three Tremendous Bowls. And, that’s the Washington, then Redskins, now Commanders, that I bear in mind. This franchise is a part of who I’m and who I’ve grow to be as an individual.”
“However being a fan will not be sufficient to achieve success,” Harris continued. “To achieve success, we perceive that we have to win championships, create a optimistic influence on the group, and create unbelievable recollections and nice experiences for our fan base, very like I had as a youth rising up in Washington. We’ll have extra to say within the days that come, however in the present day I need to depart it right here.
“To our workforce and the unbelievable fan base in Washington, a brand new period of Washington soccer is right here. It’s time to get to work,” Harris concluded.
Excessive Hopes for Commanders’ Future
“That is the second best day for this proud franchise,” mentioned Butch “The Coach” McAdams, a D.C. native and sports activities radio host for “In and Out of Sports activities” on WOL Radio. “The primary was after they defeated the Buffalo Payments within the 1992 Tremendous Bowl. Then catastrophe struck when Dan Snyder took over. He primarily destroyed this franchise. I can’t consider a worst skilled proprietor in sports activities throughout my lifetime.”
McAdams mentioned, “When the information broke, the very first thing I may consider was Martha and the Vandellas’ tune, “Dancing within the Streets.”
D.C. At-Massive Metropolis Council member Kenyan R. McDuffie, a longtime fan, issued the next assertion, partly, on the sale.
“At this time, we rejoice the approval of the acquisition of the Washington Commanders by the Josh Harris Group. This momentous event marks a brand new chapter within the workforce’s historical past, heralding an thrilling future for each the Washington Commanders and the probabilities for the Nation’s Capital.
“Below the brand new possession, we are able to stay up for the beginning of a strengthened bond between the Washington Commanders and their passionate fan base,” McDuffie added. “With a renewed concentrate on group engagement and social influence initiatives, the workforce’s presence within the nation’s capital has the potential to increase far past the enjoying area.
“I want the Josh Harris Group, the gamers, and the loyal followers all the most effective because the workforce begins a brand new chapter.”
“I’m inspired by the brand new possession,” famous Romanda Noble-Watson, a DC native who serves as communications director for highschool athletics. “Now the workforce can return to being the one we will be happy with. As followers, all of us need the workforce to do nicely. It is a good begin.”
The Commanders completed 8-8-1 final season, in final place within the NFC East. Below the brand new management, the workforce’s first exhibition recreation will probably be on Aug. 11 in Cleveland in opposition to the Browns.
Followers will get an opportunity to see the workforce when it begins the common season at house on Sept. 10 after they host the Arizona Cardinals.