Panthers Announce Sale Of Team To David Tepper

May 16, 2018 - 8:50 am

By Ryan Chell

@RyanChellWFNZ on Twitter

CHARLOTTE - Panthers fans losing sleep over the possibility of their team leaving Charlotte can finally rest at ease with the news that dropped Wednesday morning. 

Over a long process that has spanned several months, the Carolina Panthers announced the sale of the team from original owner Jerry Richardson to Pittsburgh Steelers minority owner and hedge-fund manager David Tepper Wednesday morning for a reported 2.2 billion dollars. 

“Bringing the Panthers and the NFL to the Carolinas in 1993 was enormously fulfilling for Rosalind and me and all of our partners,” Richardson said. “We are deeply grateful for the outpouring of support over the last 25 years. You have taken the Panthers into your hearts and made them part of this warm and supportive community. We want to thank all of our past and present players, coaches and staff for their hard work in making the Panthers a great success both on the field and in the community. The personal relationships we have enjoyed have been very meaningful to us."

Tepper, with a net worth of over 11 billion dollars, will pay for the team in full.

It is unknown at this time if he will allow current minority ownership or others to buy in. 

Tepper, founder of Appaloosa Management, beat out South Carolina native Ben Navarro for ownership of the team but didn't budge from his original bid of the team - which ultimately was the winning one. 

Already vetted by the other league owners because of his minority stake in the Steelers, it is a guarantee that Tepper's ownership bid will be approved next week in Atlanta at the next session of the NFL Owners Meetings. 

The sale will be completed in July. 

“I look forward to turning the stewardship of the Panthers over to David Tepper. I have enjoyed getting to know him in this process and am confident that he will provide the organization with great leadership in both its football and community initiatives. I wish David and his family the very best as they enter this exciting new phase of their lives,” Richardson added.

Richardson, who will turn 82 when the sale is completed, announced in December that he would be selling the Panthers - one day after a Sports Illustrated story offering up allegations of workplace sexual misconduct. The NFL opened up an independent investigation into the accusations against Richardson, and has said it will continue to follow up on the reports even after the sale of the team is complete.

And with the sale of the team to a new owner - one from outside the Carolinas coming in - the cloud of a team move outside of Charlotte has hung over this city, but Panther fans hearing from David Tepper for the first time were quickly assured by their new owner that he isn't even thinking about that possibility. 

Charlotte will still remain the Panthers home, says Tepper.

“I am thrilled to have been selected to be the next owner of the Carolina Panthers. I have learned a great deal about the community and the team over the past several months and look forward to becoming part of the Carolinas. I want to thank Jerry Richardson and the other Panthers partners for all they have done to establish and develop the NFL in the Carolinas. It has been a remarkable 25-year journey and I promise to build upon the Panthers’ success on the field and in the community.”

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