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What does a Commanders sale mean for the Wizards?

In short, it could hurt the Wizards and Capitals’ standing in the D.C. sports hierarchy.

Los Angeles Chargers v Kansas City Chiefs
If Jeff Bezos can lead an ownership group to buy the Washington Commanders, it would have consequences for Monumental Sports & Entertainment, one way or another.
Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The Washington Commanders NFL team is all but going to sale in the coming weeks. Hogs Haven, SB Nation’s Commanders blog, has a piece that Dan and Tanya Snyder, the current owners of the Commanders, want to sell it for $7 billion. There are several reasons why the Snyders are now looking into selling the team. First, they can profit a lot from it. But more importantly, Dan Snyder specifically is the target of numerous investigations around the team.

Last week, I mused about the possibility of Monumental Sports & Entertainment thinking about buying the team. But I never found them to be a realistic buyer, considering that they are in the running to buy the Washington Nationals MLB team. Now, we have a better idea of who may want to restore them to their 1980s glory with their famed Hogs offensive line.

There are credible reports that Amazon Executive Chairman Jeff Bezos and rapper/entertainment executive Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter are planning on making a joint bid for the franchise. Bezos is worth over $100 billion while Carter is worth over $1 billion. Carter doesn’t have direct ties to the DMV. But Bezos isn’t just Amazon’s founder and still one of their top executives. He also owns The Washington Post, which is based in D.C. And Amazon also has a second headquarters in nearby Arlington, Va.

Over the past 22 years or so, the Redskins/Washington Football Team/Commanders franchise has been marred by numerous controversies, turning the franchise into a laughing stock in the NFL. That also gave other franchises in the D.C. area room to shine. The Capitals became a hot ticket in the DMV after Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom were drafted, culminating in a Stanley Cup championship in 2018. The Nationals were relocated to Washington from Montreal, Quebec in 2005. They also won a World Series in 2019.

Other franchises outside the Big Four men’s professional leagues have also won titles. The Monumental Sports-owned Mystics won the 2019 WNBA championship. D.C. United won four MLS Cups from 1996-2004. In short, the local NFL team’s decline into a laughing stock gave other teams the opportunity to showcase their highlights in a way that may otherwise be overshadowed by football season.

The Wizards have not won an NBA title in the 21st century. But they did enjoy sustained periods of NBA playoff success in the 2000s and 2010s. While they were never able to become the D.C. area’s most popular team, at least they have been viewed in a more positive light than the football team in this century.

Now that it appears that the Snyders will sell, I have a feeling that Commanders fans and D.C. sports fans in general will give the new team owner(s) a honeymoon, to the point where the Wizards especially could suffer with attendance and visibility. Sure, football has been declining in popularity due to the risk of head injuries. But there is little doubt that the NFL will still remain America’s most popular sports league for the foreseeable future. The Commanders have some fight in them this season despite their early season struggles. And the Wizards are all but destined to be mediocre, at best in the same timeframe.

I will always support other local teams to do well in their leagues. But does the news of a new Commanders ownership group hurt the Wizards, at least in the short term? Let us know in the comments below.