What We Know About Magic Johnson’s Bid To Buy Washington Commanders

The Los Angeles Lakers legend knows a few things about purchasing professional sports franchises.

Earvin “Magic” Johnson, the legendary NBA superstar turned entrepreneur, has an eye on ownership of the NFL’s Washington Commanders. The Hall of Famer already has ownership stakes in several professional sports teams.

In November, the Commanders announced that Dan Snyder and his wife, Tanya, the team’s co-CEO, had hired Bank of America Securities to consider potential transactions for the franchise that Forbes has valued at $5.6 billion.

Here’s what we know so far about the former L.A. Lakers’ involvement in a potential deal to purchase the franchise.

1. Part of the Harris group

Magic joined the bidding war for the Commanders as a co-investor in a group led by Josh Harris, who co-owns the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers and the NHL’s New Jersey Devils, according to Sportico, which first reported Magic’s involvement Monday (March 20).

Magic was also part of the Harris group when it failed to win the bidding for ownership of the NFL’s Denver Broncos last year.

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2. Magic’s investment

It’s unknown at this point how much money Magic would contribute to the group. He didn’t immediately respond to Sportico’s inquiry and a representative for Harris declined to say. What we do know is that Magic is contributing not only money but also expertise to the team.

In 2011, Magic, 63, joined a bid group that purchased MLB’s Los Angeles Dodgers, in which he contributed $50 million and his star power in representing the group publicly.

3. Competitors

ESPN reported that the Harris group and three others toured Washington’s facilities. They included NBA Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta and two unidentified groups.

There’s also speculation that Amazon’s billionaire founder Jeff Bezos could be in the running. In February, he hired an investment firm to evaluate a possible bid for the team.

4. Timeline

A sale probably won’t happen until late May after an NFL owners meeting. At least 24 of the 32 team owners must approve the sale.

In addition to the Dodger, Magic has ownership in the WNBA's Los Angeles Sparks and MLS' Los Angeles FC.

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