The sale of the Commanders, while not complete at this point, has approached the finish line without any involvement from Jeff Bezos. The Amazon founder was consistently named as a suitor to watch with respect to new Washington owners, and he could still be on the league’s radar to purchase aa different franchise down the road.
The NFL is “lobbying Bezos quietly, but hard” on the subject of joining the league’s ownership club, reports Peter King of NBC Sports. The 59-year-old would easily become the wealthiest owner if he were to acquire a franchise, so that news comes as little surprise. The edge in terms of spending power he would have had over any competitors in Washington made him a favorite not long after it was learned Dan Snyder was considering selling the Commanders.
However, obstacles existed which would have made a sale to Bezos difficult. Chief among them was the latter’s ownership of the Washington Post, a source of personal tension between he and Snyder. Bezos was reportedly blocked from participating in the initial rounds of bidding, which cast doubt on his ability to make a last-minute offer on the team. Indeed, shortly before the Josh Harris-led group reached agreement on a $6.05 billion deal, it came out that Bezos would not submit any offer.
With the Commanders off the market, many expect the Seahawks to be next team to be sold. They could become a Bezos target, especially if the league remains highly interested in having him become an owner. However, a change of ownership in Seattle may not be coming in at least the short-term future.
As King notes, any Seahawks sale which takes place before May 2, 2024 would see 10% of the purchase price go the Washington state government. That would represent an obvious factor working against an agreement taking place within the next year or so, especially when coupled with the sentiment made clear by current owner Jody Allen last summer.
“As chair of both the Portland Trail Blazers and the Seattle Seahawks, my long-term focus is building championship teams that our communities are proud of,” she said in a July statement. “As we’ve stated before, neither of the teams is for sale and there are not sales discussions happening… There is no preordained timeline by which the teams must be sold.”
Allen, who took over for her late brother Paul in 2018, has been linked to a sale throughout her ownership tenure. The above remarks represented her most definitive denial that one will be coming any time soon, though. If/when that changes, Bezos will remain a name to watch as a potential bidder.