For over 20 years, the Washington area has dealt with an owner of a sports franchise who was hated much more than he was liked. Dan Snyder and his wife Tanya announced last Friday that the Washington Commanders will be sold to a group led by Philadelphia 76ers owner Josh Harris. Harris also owns the New Jersey Devils NHL team.
As you might expect, most Washington sports fans are very happy. I also find it interesting that Harris, who is a Washington native, will now be owning a team in the same city as Monumental Sports & Entertainment, which owns the Wizards, Mystics and Capitals. It’s possible that MSE could even be the majority owner of the Nationals.
For most of the past 15-ish years, enthusiasm for the local NFL team has waned, while the popularity of MSE teams have improved. The Capitals have been the most popular team locally for much of that time and won a Stanley Cup in 2018. The Mystics and Nationals won championships in 2019. And even the Wizards had some playoff success from 2014-18.
That said, the NFL is the most popular sports league and the Commanders are (still) one of the league’s most storied franchises. With Snyder no longer owning the team and a Washington area native taking over, I expect the enthusiasm to rise, at least in the short run.
How do you feel about the Commanders sale being more-or-less official now? And do you think it will hurt the Wizards’ popularity over the next few years locally? Let us know in the comments below.