Greek Canadian billionaire Steve Apostolopoulos has emerged as the latest bidder for the NFL’s Washington Commanders, US media report.
Apostolopoulos is the managing partner of Triple Group of Companies, a Toronto real estate firm. He is also the co-founder and chief development officer of Triple Properties and Cary, a digital credit and payments platform.
He was born in Toronto and attended Harvard University. His late father, Andreas, moved to Canada from Kalamata, Greece in 1969 as a teenager and built a successful business empire.
The Apostolopoulos family is one of the wealthiest Greek families in the United States and the richest Greek family in Canada.
Apostolopoulos’ interest in the NFL’s Commanders
Washington Post reports that Steve 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 with insider knowledge said recently, because of his displeasure with The Post’s coverage of him and the team.
Apostolopoulos recently tried to buy Michael Jordan’s Charlotte Hornets, but shifted his focus to purchasing an NFL team instead.
Formerly known as the Washington Redskins, the team competes in the National Football League (NFL) as a member of the National Football Conference (NFC) East division.
The team plays its home games at FedExField in Landover, Maryland; its headquarters and training facility are in Ashburn, Virginia.
The team has played more than 1,000 games and is one of only five in the NFL with more than 600 total wins. Washington was among the first NFL franchises with a fight song, “Hail to the Commanders”, played by their marching band after every touchdown scored by the team at home.
The franchise is valued by Forbes at US$5.6 billion, making them the league’s sixth most valuable team as of 2022.
Apostolopoulos and his successful Greek father
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 despatch center for Amazon.
Apostolopoulos was described by family members and friends as a kind and family-oriented man with a sharp business sense.
One of his sons, Jim Apostolopoulos, described his father as someone who would always help out someone in need, who was careful with his money, and who worked hard to make his family happy. He always kept his word, added Jim, and taught his sons to treat everyone equally.
“The legacy he leaves is not just for the Greek-Canadian community, but for all immigrants coming to a new country,” he said. “He measured success not by how much money someone made, but by how hard they worked to provide for their family and to give their children a bigger opportunity than they had,” he told the Toronto Star days after his dad passed away.
Jim Apostolopoulos described his father as “brilliant and street smart,” despite the fact he had only finished Grade 6 in Greece.
“He was like a human calculator. When we discussed the numbers, the three of us would start to work it out on our calculators, and he already had the answer,” Peter Apostolopoulos said about his father speaking to the Toronto Star.
And yet despite his long, successful career, Chilcott said he felt like Apostolopoulos was “only just getting started.”
Now his other son, Steve Apostolopoulos, aims to follow in his father’s footsteps.