Report: Steelers’ Minority Owner Potentially ‘Nearing A Deal’ To Buy Commanders

UPDATE (3:59 PM): Ian Rapoport says the deal has been agreed upon, though not officially signed and would still require league approval.

Our original story is below.

Another Pittsburgh Steelers minority owner may be leaving the Steelers and buying his own NFL team. Minority owner Josh Harris is expected to buy the Washington Commanders for a little under $6 billion according to Ian Rapoport.

Harris is no stranger to owning sports teams. In addition to being a minority owner of the Steelers, he is the majority owner, as part of the Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment (HBSE) sports group, of the Philadelphia 76ers of the NBA and New Jersey Devils of the NHL. Harris also has shares of Crystal Palace F.C., a soccer club in the Premier League in England.

As an owner, Harris has put tons of money into facilities of the teams he owns and has proven he will back his teams. However, under HBSE ownership his teams have known to utilize tanking as both the 76ers and Devils have used that strategy to become the teams they have today.

HBSE’s ownership of the the Steelers began in 2020 when it purchased a 5% stake in the franchise. At the time, the Steelers were valued at $2.8 billion; now they are valued at $3.975 billion. Harris may have to sell that 5% stake as he forms a new ownership group with Magic Johnson and billionaire Mitchell Rales.

What is somewhat unclear is whether HBSE will be forced to sell its entire share of the Steelers or if Harris can just sell some of his individual stock. David Blitzer is the co-founder of HBSE, and from the reports so far it is not a guarantee that he is involved in the expected purchase of the Washington Commanders.

If the entire share HBSE owns is sold, then this will be the second time in less than five years that a notable minority owner of the Steelers will be forced to sell their share of the team with David Tepper, current owner of the Carolina Panthers, doing so in 2019.

It is worth pointing out this potential deal isn’t signed. And some, like ESPN’s Adam Schefter, believe Harris and company may not end up with the winning bid. Billionaire Steve Apostolopolos remains in the running to buy the team and no deal is done until pen and paper meet.

It will be interesting to see how this unfolds with a new ownership group likely entering the NFL. The Rooney family will still be the majority owners of the Pittsburgh Steelers, but a new minority owner may be entering the fold for the team.

To Top