Canadian commercial real estate developer and private equity executive Steve Apostolopoulos visited the Washington Commanders’ facilities recently while exploring a bid on the team, according to two people with knowledge of the visit.
Apostolopoulos joins a list of prospective Commanders buyers that includes Josh Harris, owner of the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers and the NHL’s New Jersey Devils; Tilman Fertitta, owner of the NBA’s Houston Rockets; and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.
Harris and Fertitta have made bids, people with knowledge of the sales process have said. Commanders owner Daniel Snyder has blocked Bezos, who owns The Washington Post, from moving forward in the bidding process, a person familiar with the process said recently, because of his displeasure with The Post’s coverage of him and the team. It has not been clear whether Bezos ultimately will be allowed to make a bid.
Harris’s investment group includes Potomac, Md., billionaire and philanthropist Mitchell Rales and former NBA great Magic Johnson.
Apostolopoulos was born in Toronto and attended Harvard. He also is the co-founder and chief development officer of Triple Properties, a real estate development company, and is the co-founder of Caary, a digital credit and payments platform. His late father, Andreas, was born in Greece and moved to Canada as a teenager before building a multibillion-dollar business empire.
Andreas Apostolopoulos, who died in 2021 at 69, purchased the vacant former home of the NFL’s Detroit Lions, the Silverdome, in 2009 for a reported $583,000. He reopened the facility in 2010, hosting a monster truck event, soccer games and boxing matches, among other events. The stadium was demolished by 2018; the site is now a fulfillment center for Amazon.
Andreas Apostolopoulos’s most ambitious project before his death was the proposed Durham Live district, a mixed-use development in Pickering, Ontario, slated to include a casino, hotel, dining and retail. Steve Apostolopoulos is managing partner and president of Pickering Developments, which owns Durham Live.
The Commanders have spent years searching for a location to build a new stadium in Virginia, D.C. or Maryland, with the hope of surrounding it with a mixed-use development. Should the team be sold, that project could be up to the next owners.
Snyder owns FedEx Field and its surrounding property, but the team is contractually obligated to play in Landover until 2027.
ESPN first reported Apostolopoulos’s visit to the team facilities.
Bidders have been attempting to strike a deal with Snyder on a sale in advance of the NFL’s annual league meeting that begins Sunday in Phoenix, according to four people familiar with the process. But some of those people said they remain skeptical that an agreement on a sale will be reached by then.
Any sale would have to be approved by at least 24 of the 32 team owners. The deliberations are taking place as the NFL conducts a second investigation of Snyder and the team. This one is being overseen by attorney Mary Jo White.
The Commanders announced in November that Snyder and his wife, Tanya, the team’s co-CEO, had hired Bank of America Securities to consider potential transactions for the franchise. The team has not said whether the Snyders intend to sell all or part of the franchise.