The NFL could soon allow private equity firms to buy significant team ownership stakes, Commissioner Roger Goodell said in an interview that kicked off the second full day of Allen & Co.’s “summer camp for billionaires” on Thursday.

Goodell, one of dozens of moguls from the tech, media, business and sports worlds who gathered at the ritzy Sun Valley Conference, said the NFL was aiming to revamp its rules for team ownership by the end of the year.

“We’ve had a tremendous amount of interest [from private equity firms], and we believe this could make sense for us in a limited fashion, probably no more than 10% of a team,” Goodell told CNBC. “That would be something we think could complement our ownership and support our ownership policies.”

Buying an NFL team has become an increasingly expensive proposition in recent years, with all but the world’s wealthiest individuals priced out of the process. Goodell said the 10% threshold could be raised over time if the league is satisfied with the move.

The roster of attendees at this year’s Sun Valley Conference included controversial Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, who was photographed walking the resort’s grounds with his girlfriend Paula Hurd.

Gates and Hurd began dating after his divorce from Melinda French Gates – who declared in 2022 that her ex’s past association with deceased sex offender Jeffrey Epstein was a factor in their separation.

Other notable power couples seen in Sun Valley were Amazon co-founder Jeff Bezos and his fiancée Lauren Sanchez, who lounged out in a golf cart between meetings, and supermodel Karlie Kloss and her husband, Thrive Capital boss Josh Kushner.

Pittsburgh Steelers coaching legend Bill Cowher was seen chatting with billionaire Boston Red Sox owner John Henry, while Alice + Olivia CEO Stacey Bendet Eisner made a fashionable appearance with a cowboy chat, oversized sunglasses and trenchcoat.

Former Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg was locked deep in conversation with ex-New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Media legend Oprah Winfrey, who was pictured strolling in a white sweater and jeans alongside her longtime friend CBS News anchor Gayle King and CNN’s Van Jones and Erin Burnett.

Elsewhere, Shari Redstone’s deal to merge Paramount Global with Skydance Media has dominated the conversation at Sun Valley, which top executives gather each year to rub elbows at off-the-record events. Notably, the NFL has a TV deal with CBS, a Paramount subsidiary.

In his interview, Goodell didn’t rule out the possibility that the NFL would re-examine its relationship with CBS if the deal proceeds.

“We’ll look at the structure of the deal,” the commissioner said. “We’ll see how it impacts us. We’ll see how it impacts our business. And we’ll make the best decision for the NFL at that point.”

The Paramount-Skydance deal includes a 45-day “go shop” window that allows Redstone to entertain outside offers. Paramount would pay a $400 million breakup fee if it receives another offer and Skydance opts not to match it.

In a potential last-minute twist, billionaire IAC Chairman Barry Diller hinted to reporters gathered at Sun Valley that he hasn’t ruled out making an offer.

2024 © Network Today. All Rights Reserved.