A New Era in Washington Begins


Joe Glorioso | All-Pro Reels

Daniel Snyder, previous owner of the Washington Commanders (Joe Glorioso | All-Pro Reels)

Jacques Kearns, Staff Writer

After 24 years of complaints from fans all over the DMV area, Daniel Snyder’s reign as the Washington Commanders owner is finally over.  

Dan Snyder bought the team in 1999 when he was 34 years old for $800 million. At the time this was the most anyone had ever paid for a sports franchise. After dropping out of the University of Maryland at 20 years old, Dan Snyder started his company called Snyder Communications and made a fortune off of it. In 2000, Snyder sold Snyder Communications to a French firm named Havas for $2.1 billion dollars worth of stock. In order to buy the Commanders in 1999, Snyder had to borrow $350 million from a French bank. 

After decades of disappointing seasons, bad hiring and firings, raising ticket and stadium prices, suing fans, and sexual assault allegations, Snyder finally agreed to sell the Washington Commanders.

On April 13, 2023, Daniel Snyder agreed to sell the Washington Commanders for a record $6 billion, which is $800 million more than the previous record set last year by the owners of Chelsea Football Club. The group who bought the team was led by Josh Harris, who is already part of the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils ownership groups and a general partner of Crystal Palace, a soccer team in the premier league. The group also includes Magic Johnson, an NBA legend and former president of basketball operations for the Los Angeles Lakers. 

When asked about his thoughts on Dan Snyder, sophomore Maechi Mbanefo kept it short and straight to the point. “He’s terrible,” he began, but he wasn’t done expressing his displeasure. “Thank goodness he’s out of there, he messed up the whole franchise.” Maechi said he was excited about the new ownership and didn’t really care who bought the team, he just wanted Snyder to not be a part of the team anymore. Maechi then made a bold prediction, saying, “We’re making the playoffs [in 2023]” after only making the playoffs six times during the Daniel Snyder era.

Sophomore Xavier Sydnor doesn’t know how to feel about Dan Snyder. Xavier says Dan Snyder is a bad person outside of football and was bad at his job. When asked if he was excited about the new ownership group in Washington, Xavier said, “No, I’m terrified.” He says the new owners might not know anything about football and historically, as a Commanders fan, you just never know what you’re gonna get. Xavier said he would’ve preferred for the new owner to be a football legend or someone already in the football world.

The start of a new era in Washington has begun. After 24 years of disappointments, controversies, and fan complaints, Washington is finally out of Dan Snyder’s hands and into the hands of new, experienced owners. Only time will tell if the new owners can bring success and stability to the franchise. This new era signals a fresh start for the Commanders and the end of an ugly past.