Many billionaires like to buy extravagant things that most people would ever even dream of being able to afford. A major league sports team is one of the biggest such displays that rich people like to have. An NFL team is one of the biggest displays of wealth a billionaire can have, but they don’t stop there.
There are NFL owners who spend potentially hundreds of millions on a luxury like a yacht, allowing them to travel on the water in style. One NFL owner who has his own yacht is Washington’s Dan Snyder, whose superyacht is in the record books as having the first of something.
Dan Snyder’s path to wealth
Forbes gives us background on how Snyder grew his wealth. He first started a marketing business after dropping out of college. He took the company public in 1996 and sold it for $2.1 billion worth of stock in 2000.
That was a year after he bought the Redskins for $750 million in 1999, following the death of previous owner Jack Kent Cooke. At the time, the purchase price made it the most expensive transaction in sports history. The team is now worth $3.4 billion, and Forbes estimates his net worth at $2.6 billion.
The Washington Football Team under Dan Snyder’s ownership
It’s been a rough ride for the franchise since Snyder purchased the team, culminating in Snyder finally giving into public pressure last year and dropping the Redskins name, renaming the franchise the Washington Football Team — for now at least.
But the on-field product hasn’t been great since Snyder bought the team. Washington won a bad NFC East this season with a 7-9 record, which was the team’s sixth playoff appearance since the 1999 season.
But Washington has lost in the wild card round in each of its last four appearances in the postseason and hasn’t gotten past the divisional round during Snyder’s tenure as owner. The team has nine last-place finishes in the division under Snyder, with two 3-13 seasons and two 4-12 campaigns during the stretch.
As if the poor performances weren’t bad enough for Washington fans, years of controversy and protests over the team’s name overshadowed the football part of things but Snyder’s continuously refused to change the name.
It wasn’t until things really boiled over in 2020 and companies threatened to pull sponsorships that Snyder finally did what people thought he should’ve done long ago — change the name.
Snyder has been panned for other reasons during his ownership of the team, as well, including for his infamous thriftiness — at one point, FedEx Field was selling peanuts from a bankrupt airline.
His luxurious superyacht has a world’s first
Sports Illustrated reports on the yacht that Snyder bought in 2019. The Lady S cost Dan Snyder more than $100 million, which Snyder apparently thought was worth the money to upgrade from his previous 224-foot yacht to one that measures 305 feet.
It was built by the French firm Feadship, the company’s fifth-largest yacht at the time it was delivered to Snyder. Yacht Harbour lists amenities that include a commercial helicopter landing pad, as well as on-board facilities to golf and play basketball, football, and volleyball. There are eight VIP suites with 8K TVs, in addition to a large swimming pool.
But the most impressive amenity of all has to be the two-deck IMAX theater, the first IMAX cinema to be put on a vessel. The $3 million theater was Snyder’s “main request” according to Feadship CEO Jan-Bart Verkuyl.
He revealed that the 12-seat theater was so big that “the vessel had to be built around the IMAX.” Building something that met IMAX’s exacting standards wasn’t easy, and the manufacturers had to make sure the engine sounds wouldn’t bleed into the theater, while ensuring the movies wouldn’t be heard in the sleeping cabins.