Washington Commanders prospective owner Josh Harris is confident that the franchise he is hoping to obtain from Dan Snyder will prosper under his watch.
His former partner with the Philadelphia 76ers, Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin, believes that notion.
Speaking at his inaugural Merch Madness: Fan Gear Giveaway in Harlem on Tuesday – the first of three stops he made while giving away licensed merchandise worth roughly $20 million to more than 100,000 underserved kids and their families – Rubin told Fox News Digital that he expects a quick turnaround with Harris leading the Commanders.
“I expect fast progress from Josh,” Rubin said. “Josh is a beast. He’s nonstop, he works 24/7. This has been his dream. This is the city he grew up in. I think, to be honest, there’s a lot of low-hanging fruit.”
“I expect fast results from Josh, and I think the community is going to rally around him. I couldn’t be more excited for all the Commanders fans and what Josh can do for the team.”
Harris doesn’t have control over the Commanders just yet as the NFL will hold a special meeting on July 20 where league owners are expected to vote on Harris’s pending deal with the Snyders, per the Washington Post.
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Harris reached an agreement with the Snyders to purchase the franchise for $6.05 billion, which is the largest price for any team in NFL history. It breaks the Walton-Penner group’s $4.6 billion price tag fulfilled for the Denver Broncos’ ownership.
As the co-owner of the 76ers along with the New Jersey Devils, Rubin has a history of seeing Harris in action, which is why his confidence is so high that he will deliver on Harris’s belief that Snyder’s ownership led to a “disengaged” fan base that he will get back in the seats.
Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment issued a 43-page prospectus to potential investors in their group for the Commanders, which was obtained by ESPN. In it, Harris explains how Snyder’s removal from ownership would lead to an increase in attendance, overall ticket sales, sponsorships and more.
There was also the notion that the group will get Virginia to offer up to $1.5 billion in public funding for a new stadium.
The document added that the Commanders made $173 million in local revenue last season, including ticket sales, sponsorships and more. But the real pull was Harris predicting the franchise can double that number by the 2031-2032 season.
If a new stadium is built for the Commanders, Harris predicts $466 million in revenue per season by then.
“The Commanders historically ranked top in the league across all local revenue metrics and attendance” the document states via ESPN. “However, the team has significantly spiraled as a result of allegations against current ownership. As ownership changes, we see opportunities to substantially drive local revenue and bring the team back to a top NFL market.”
While Harris continues to look ahead to owning in his third major sports league, Rubin divested his 10% stake in the 76ers and Devils as Fanatics is hoping to get into the sports betting realm.
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A conflict of interest with the NBA and NHL is clearly there due to the expansion.
With Rubin’s sights on continuing to make Fanatics grow, he is also giving back, which was evidenced in nearly 100 different locations throughout the United States with his Merch Madness event.
Rubin also received help from some of the biggest names in sports and entertainment as Lil’ Baby, Meek Mill, Russell Wilson, Eli Manning, Donovan Mitchell, A$AP Ferg and Taylor Rooks were at Frederick Douglass Academy in Harlem to hand out the Fanatics merchandise to the surprised kids in attendance.
And that was just in New York. Tom Brady, Odell Beckham Jr. and DJ Khaled were in Miami together. Chris Paul, Quavo, Lil’ Durk and Mo Bamba were in Los Angeles for the event. So many other cities had celebrities show their love and support to Rubin and to their respective communities.
“Next year, we’re going to make it even bigger and better,” Rubin said. “I think next year we’re going to give away $100 million in merchandise, hit 1 million underserved families,” he said.
“For us, this is what it is all about. Making a difference.”