While Bezos previously considered making an offer on the Washington Commanders, he now has his sights set on Seattle, as first reported by the Washington Post, which is owned by Bezos.
Bezos is currently the world’s third richest person with a net worth of $122 billion, according to Bloomberg. He has close ties to Seattle, having founded Amazon in the area and owning a property in a nearby suburb of Medina, and has reportedly shown interest in purchasing the NFL team since 2019.
The Seahawks, which Forbes valued at $4.5 billion, were purchased in 1997 by Allen for $194 million. He bought the team from real estate developer Ken Behring and spent millions upgrading its stadium Lumen Field.
The most recent NFL team sale was in August, when Rob Walton, heir to the Walmart franchise, purchased the Denver Broncos for $4.65 billion and set a record for the largest-ever sports franchise sale.
Since Allen’s death in 2018 from complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, his $20 billion fortune has been managed by an estate led by his sister Jody Allen. The late billionaire’s assets have gradually been sold off in the past few years, with Allen’s art collection selling for a record-breaking $1.5 billion in November at a Christie’s auction, the largest private collection sale in auction history.
More works from Allen’s selection, valued at more than $30 million, are set to be sold in an upcoming Christie’s auction in May.
When will the Seattle Seahawks be sold?
Allen’s estate has additionally sold off numerous properties, including a Beverly Hills estate which sold for $65 million in January 2022 and Manhattan apartments which fetched $101 million in July. Two of his superyachts, valued a cumulative $368 million, have also been sold by the estate.
Despite the billions of dollars sold since Allen’s death, his sister Jody Allen has held on to the Seahawks and the Portland Trail Blazers, an NBA team Allen purchased in 1988. While Phil Knight, the founder of Nike, attempted to purchase the Trail Blazers for more than $2 billion in June, Allen’s estate rebuked the offer.
“As we’ve stated before, neither of the teams is for sale and there are no sale discussions happening,” said Jody Allen in a July statement. “A time will come when that changes given Paul’s plans to dedicate the vast majority of his wealth to philanthropy, but estates of this size and complexity can take 10 to 20 years to wind down,” she said, adding that there is no pre-ordained timeline by which the teams must be sold.
However, in September, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay stated that the Seahawks will likely be sold in the next few years. “Seattle—with Paul Allen my friend unfortunately passing away and that team is in a trust—is going to become available I’d imagine in the 2024 range,” he told Bloomberg.
2024 is also the year when a clause regarding the terms of a Seattle Seahawks’ sale will change. Washington state will receive 10 percent of the proceeds from a sale if the Seahawks are sold before May 2024, according to a provision of the 1997 law which helped fund the construction of the team’s Lumen Field.