Rumors continue to circulate regarding the possibility that the Seahawks will be sold. A specific provision of Washington law helps explain why that’s happening now, and it provides a road map as to when a transaction could occur.
Via Ben Fischer of Sports Business Journal, the 1997 law that funded the construction of the team’s stadium in Seattle provides that the State of Washington would be entitled to 10 percent of the gross proceeds, if the team is sold before May 2024.
This gives the trust that holds the team nearly two years to plan for a sale and to finalize it. Our guess is that leaks of a potential sale are trickling out now, in order to put the possibility (or perhaps inevitability) of a sale on the radar screen of potential purchasers. Over the next year or so, interested parties can begin to lay the foundation for their eventual bids. By next fall, the process can accelerate to a full-blown auction.
Perhaps this was the plan all along, from the moment Paul Allen passed. His sister, Jody, would own the team until May 2024, at which time the team could be sold without 10 percent coming off the top.
If/when it’s time to sell, look no farther than the folks who pursued the Broncos. As PFT reported last week, 76ers co-owner Josh Harris was ready to bid $5 billion, if he knew that would deliver the franchise for him. This means he’d likely pay something in that same neighborhood for the Seahawks, as of May 2024. Others who may be interested in an NFL team are now on notice to start breaking open piggybanks and otherwise raising cash and lining up partners for a push to acquire the Seahawks.