Dan Snyder just officially sold the NFL’s Washington Commanders for $6 billion. The buyer is billionaire Josh Harris and it is the biggest team sale in the history of pro sports.
Here’s a list of the ten most expensive sports team sales to give a sense of perspective on how the Commanders sale at the top of the list compares.
#1: Washington Commanders: $6 Billion
This $6 billion sale hasn’t been finalized yet, but assuming it does go through eventually it will be the highest sum paid for a team in all of pro sports.
#2: Chelsea FC: $5.3 Billion
In 2022, after almost 20 years of ownership of Chelsea Football Club, Roman Abramovich was forced by sanctions against his alleged ties to Russia to sell the team for $5.3 billion to a consortium. The sale currently ranks as the most expensive in all of pro sports — for now, anyway.
#3: Denver Broncos: $4.65 Billion
Meanwhile, the most expensive team sale in the history of the NFL belongs to the Denver Broncos, which was sold last year to the Walton-Penner family for $4.65 billion, a sum that also makes the Broncos the most expensive sports team in all of North America. Both records will naturally be broken if the Washington Commanders deal finally goes through at the reported price.
#4: Phoenix Suns/Mercury: $4 Billion
The most expensive NBA franchise was sold this year to billionaire Matt Ishbia for $4 billion. The Suns’ sister team in the WNBA, the Phoenix Mercury, was also included in the deal.
#5: New York Mets: $2.475 Billion
In 2020, the most expensive Major League Baseball team sale was made to Steve Cohen, who paid almost $2.5 billion for the New York Mets and owns a 95 percent stake in the team. With a net worth of $16 billion, Cohen also happens to be the richest team owner in the sport.
#6: Brooklyn Nets: $2.9 Billion
In 2019, Joseph Tsai purchased a controlling stake in the Brooklyn Nets for $2.9 billion. He also purchased the team’s arena, the Barclays Center, in a separate deal for a sum approaching $1 billion.
#7: Carolina Panthers: $2.2 Billion
The winning $2.2 billion bid for the Carolina Panthers made by David Tepper in 2022 was, at the time, the highest price ever paid for an NFL team. The trend is clearly pointing upwards for pro sports franchises, and you can expect new price records to break pretty quickly in the near future.
#8: Houston Rockets: $2.2 Billion
In 2017, restaurant billionaire Tilman Fertitta bought his hometown NBA team the Houston Rockets for $2.2 billion. It was a league price record at the time, and reportedly included the now defunct “League of Legends” esports brand Clutch Gaming in the bargain.
#9: Los Angeles Dodgers: $2 Billion
Back in 2012, an ownership consortium known as Guggenheim Baseball Management (which now includes such notable figures as Magic Johnson (who is also part of the Josh Harris group seeking to buy the Commanders) and Billie Jean King among its members), purchased the Dodgers for $2 billion, a Major League Baseball record at the time.
#10: Los Angeles Clippers: $2 Billion
$2 billion was also the price paid for the LA Clippers in 2014 by former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. That year it was also reported that Ballmer mandated the team switch from Apple to Microsoft products in its operations.
Obviously, if and when the Commanders sale goes through, a $6 billion selling price would be enough to place it at the top of this list. But given the current trends, you shouldn’t expect it to hold onto that record for too long, and if the values of popular pro sports teams continue to skyrocket it may be that this entire list is pushed down in the price record standings after a few years.
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