The Washington Commanders announced on Wednesday that team owners Daniel and Tanya Snyder have hired a bank to “consider potential transactions” involving the team, which could be a prelude to the sale of a portion or all of the franchise.
The Commanders announced in a statement that they have hired BofA Securities, a division of Bank of America, to handle “potential transactions,” but did not specify the size or scope of offers that would be considered.
A team spokesperson told USA TODAY Sports and other news outlets that “we are exploring all options” when asked if the transactions would involve a minority stake in the Commanders or the sale of the entire franchise.
“The Snyders remain committed to putting the best product on the field and continuing the work to set the gold standard for workplaces in the NFL,” the team said in a statement.
The announcement came just minutes after Forbes reported that the Snyders had hired Bank of America to look into potential deals.
According to the outlet, which cited an anonymous source, the family had received “at least four calls from groups interested in buying the team.”
Snyder, 57, has been the majority owner of Washington since 1999. His family purchased the shares held by minority owners Fred Smith, Dwight Schar, and Bob Rothman, who owned a combined 40.5% of the Commanders, last year.
According to Forbes, the franchise is worth $5.6 billion. The Denver Broncos was reportedly sold earlier this year for $4.65 billion.
In response to a comment request, NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy stated that “any potential transaction would have to be presented to the NFL Finance Committee for review and would require an affirmative vote by three quarters of the full membership (24 of 32 teams).”
The announcement on Wednesday comes after a turbulent period for the Commanders and Snyder, which has included multiple NFL investigations into allegations of sexual harassment and financial impropriety, an ongoing Congressional investigation, and the rebranding of the team’s name and logo.
The NFL fined Snyder and the Commanders $10 million last year after attorney Beth Wilkinson discovered evidence of a “highly unprofessional” workplace culture in Washington. A second league investigation is underway, focusing on allegations of financial impropriety and sexual harassment involving Snyder.
It’s unclear how a full sale of the team would affect the NFL’s investigation and the House Oversight Committee’s ongoing investigation into similar issues. However, attorneys Lisa Banks and Debra Katz, who represent over 40 former team employees, said Wednesday that it would be a positive development.
“We’ll have to see how this plays out,” they said, “but this could obviously be a big step towards healing and closure for the many brave women and men who came forward.”
It’s also possible that the Snyders will try to sell a minority stake in the team to raise funds for the construction of a new stadium.
The Commanders currently play their home games at FedExField in Landover, Maryland, but have long desired to build a new stadium. They have faced public opposition from lawmakers in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia as the controversy surrounding the team – and Snyder in particular – has grown.
Though key questions remain unanswered, the decision to hire a bank is a significant development given Snyder’s long-standing aversion to even considering a sale.
A little more than two weeks ago, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay publicly discussed the possibility of removing Snyder as an owner, pending the outcome of the league’s ongoing investigation. In response to his remarks, a Commanders spokesperson stated that the Snyders had no intention of selling the team.
“We are confident that, when he has an opportunity to see the actual evidence in this case, Mr. Irsay will conclude that there is no reason for the Snyders to consider selling the franchise. And they won’t,” the spokesperson said.