We had a couple of recent updates to the situation around the sale of the Commanders from Dan Snyder to Josh Harris this week. We were provided with a peek into the thoughts of the owners on one of the factors holding up the sale, as well as an update into the Brian Davis lawsuit.
The sale has been stalled lately in part due to some concerns over current requirements for franchise sales, specifically the requirement that a prospective primary owner must be able to furnish 30 percent of the total sales price in cash at the time of the purchase. There’s been some recent speculation that, due to the skyrocketing price tags on franchises, the league may rethink this stipulation. The practice was much more sensible years ago, when the Panthers sold for around $2.28 billion, but with the Commanders’ bids breaching $6 billion, the 30 percent requirement is much more difficult to manage.
According to Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated, it doesn’t sound like the current owners care. Breer reports that none of the owners he spoke with had an “appetite for changing the rule.” The owners currently believe that Harris will come up with the cash necessary and, if he does, the issue will be pushed down the road.
It could be pushed two sales down the road if the Seahawks are next on the chopping block. If presumed bidders Steve Ballmer or Jeff Bezos end up with winning bids, they likely wouldn’t have any trouble coming up with the cash. That should be a non-issue, though, as chairman of the team’s ownership group Jody Allen has confirmed that the team is still not for sale, according to Rachel Bachman of The Wall Street Journal.
In unrelated news, gaming law and sports betting attorney Daniel Wallach provided the update that Davis’s lawsuit against Bank of America has been withdrawn. Davis’s company, Urban Echo Energy, sued Bank of America claiming that they failed to present his bid to buy the Commanders to the responsible parties. Bank of America came back with allegations that the documents provided as proof of the transfer looked obviously fictitious.
It sounded like the case may reach a negotiated settlement, but with the allegedly fictitious documents in hand, it sounds like Bank of America may have earned an upper hand. The demand for the lawsuit, originally a ludicrous $500 billion, already was dropped to $990K. Bank of America did not join Urban Echo Energy in the filing of the withdrawal, so it’s unclear what the steps are moving forward. It sounds like Davis’s attorney may potentially face sanctions if the documents and claims are deemed fictitious, but in the meantime, Davis’s involvement in the sale of the Commanders has likely come to an end.