Goodell confident Commanders sale will gain approval

EAGAN, Minn. (AP) — NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell expressed confidence Tuesday in the completion of the $6.05 billion sale of the Washington Commanders, after owners were updated on the process at their spring meetings.

“I think we’ll get it to a place where we’ll get it approved,” Goodell said. “We’re hard at work as a staff looking at that, as we do every transaction. There’s a lot of due diligence, as well as compliance issues.”

The NFL-record purchase by investor Josh Harris and his large group from longtime owner Dan Snyder and his family was formally submitted to the league May 12. No timeline has been established for a vote, with at least 24 of 32 owners needed to approve it.

With franchise values soaring, deals will only get larger in the future and require more partners. Goodell acknowledged that some modification of ownership rules would be worth considering.

“I think it’s important for our membership to be engaged in that,” Goodell said. “It’s not how do we get greater value. It’s how do we create stability in our league amongst the 32 teams. That’s the most important aspect of our ownership policies.”

Goodell said he has spoken to public officials in the Washington area about stadium plans, with a replacement for FedEx Field in Maryland likely coming sooner than later — whether that’s in the District of Columbia or in the surrounding suburbs.

“It is not something that we’re requiring in the context of the transaction,” Goodell said, “but I know that the ownership is going to be focused on it just from the limited conversations I’ve had.”

Snyder and the Commanders are still under investigation by former U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White, who was retained by the league more than a year ago to study the organization. That stemmed from a congressional review into workplace misconduct that also included a referral to the Federal Trade Commission for potential business improprieties.

“Mary Jo White is an expert. She’s being incredibly thorough. When she’s concluded the investigation, she’ll let me know,” Goodell said. “We have pledged to make sure that we tell our ownership, and we have pledged to make sure the findings are made public.”


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