Canadian billionaire Steve Apostolopoulos has joined the bidding for the NFL’s Washington Commanders, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Wednesday because details of the sale process are not being publicized.
Apostolopoulos joins groups led by Josh Harris and Tilman Fertitta in getting approved by the league to bid on the team. Apostolopoulos is a Toronto native who went to Harvard and is the founder of a private equity venture company.
A spokesperson said the team had no comment on the ongoing situation. ESPN was first to report Apostolopoulos entering the bidding and touring the team’s facilities.
Basketball Hall of Famer Magic Johnson recently joined Harris’ bid, a person with knowledge of that situation told The AP earlier this week. Johnson was also involved in Harris’ attempt to buy the Denver Broncos, who were instead sold to a group led by Walmart heir Rob Walton for a record $4.65 billion.
The Commanders could go for even more and set a new mark for the highest price paid for a North American professional sports team. Forbes values the once-storied NFL franchise at $5.6 billion.
Amid multiple investigations into workplace conduct and potential financial improprieties, Dan Snyder and his wife Tanya hired a firm in November to look into selling part or all of the team he has owned since 1999.
Any sale would need to be approved by three-quarters of NFL owners, which could happen at their upcoming meeting in Arizona, which begins Monday.
Snyder selling to Apostolopoulos, Harris’ group, Fertitta or anyone else would head off any potential of owners voting to remove him. Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay in October said there was merit to that. The Snyders hired Bank of America Securities two weeks later.
AP Pro Football Writer Rob Maaddi contributed.
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