All Sales Are Final! Panthers Finalize Sale of Team to David Tepper
Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson was hit with allegations of workplace misconduct back in December 2017 and fined $2.75 million in June after the allegations were found to be substantial. Shortly after the allegations broke, the 81-year-old announced that he would be selling the team he founded at the end of the 2017 season. On Monday, it became official as hedge fund billionaire David Tepper bought the Carolina Panthers franchise for an NFL record $2.275 billion.
He was approved by NFL owners back in May at the spring meetings in Atlanta and will now take over the daily operations of the Panthers. Since his approval he has met with stadium and employees around the Panthers, likely in an effort to get a head start as the season is now fast approaching and training camp for the Panthers beginning in just 16 days on July 26th.
In his statement released by the Carolina Panthers, Tepper said, "I am thrilled to begin this new era of Carolina Panthers football and am humbled by the overwhelming excitement and support for the team. On behalf of the fans and myself, I thank Jerry Richardson for bringing the team to the Carolinas and for entrusting me with its future."
The new 60-year-old owner went on to say, "Winning is the most important thing both on the field and in the community, and I am committed to winning a Super Bowl championship together. I look forward to being part of the Panthers' family and to supporting this flourishing region."
On the other side of this, former owner Jerry Richardson released a statement as well. In his statement, Richardson starts by thanking the fans for "creating such a powerful, passionate fan experience for the past 23 seasons" before going on to express his gratuity for all the Carolina community and Panthers organization have done for the team. He briefly mentions the players as well saying, "I have the highest respect for the men who wear the Panthers jersey."
In concluding his statement, Richardson wishes Tepper the best and says the team is in "good hands" before thanking the entire fanbase for following the team and "making a home for Panthers football in your hearts." In addition to the deal being completed, cheif operating officer Tina Becker who was appointed the COO position by Richardson following him giving up control of the team as resigned. The move was expected as Becker will depart the franchise she has been a part of since 1999.
With the paperwork complete, Tepper also removes himself from his 5% ownership stake in the Pittsburgh Steelers. Steelers owner Art Rooney II said of Tepper to ESPN at league meetings that, "David will be a good owner" and Rooney II is "excited for him to be a part of the league. He has great passion for the game of football ... loves the game. He came from Pittsburgh, what else can you ask for?'' Now Tepper begins a new era in Carolina with the Panthers and it all starts on September 9th when the Panthers take on the Dallas Cowboys in Week 1 of the NFL season.
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