The Carolina Panthers are heading for an ownership change, as hedge fund manager David Tepper is reportedly set to purchase the team for $2.2 billion.
Tepper, founder and president of Appaloosa Management, is a familiar name in NFL circles. The Pittsburgh native purchased a five-percent stake in the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2009, and is now set to win what had been a competitive bidding process for ownership of the Panthers.
An agreement to buy the team for an NFL-record $2.2 billion is expected to be signed Tuesday, meaning that NFL owners could consider it for approval at their upcoming meeting. More from The Charlotte Observer:
Hedge fund manager David Tepper is expected to sign a deal Tuesday to buy the Carolina Panthers for $2.2 billion in cash.
A source close to the process told the Observer that the deal will be subject to an owners’ vote at the next NFL meeting, which runs next Monday through Wednesday in Atlanta.
The $2.2 billion would be a record for an NFL franchise, besting the $1.4 billion price for the Buffalo Bills in 2014. It would also match the $2.2 billion price for the Houston Rockets NBA team.
The Observer and other media outlets reported last week that Tepper was set to become the team’s new owner, ending a more than five-month search for a buyer for the franchise that began play in 1995. ESPN reporter Adam Schefter also tweeted that the deal would be signed Tuesday.
It was announced in December that Panthers owner Jerry Richardson was going put the team on the market after a report by Sports Illustrated indicated that at least four former Panthers employees were given monetary settlements after coming forward with complaints about inappropriate workplace comments and conduct by Richardson. The sale process did not begin until after the Panthers concluded their season, but Tepper now appears poised to complete his purchase of the team.
From a facility perspective, the future of the Panthers’ Bank of America Stadium is an area that could be watched closely going forward. The open-air venue has been home to the Panthers since 1996, and it has received a variety of renovations over the last several years. However, it remains to be seen whether the change in team ownership will prompt discussion about its future and whether it should be replaced with a domed or retractable-roof stadium. Such a facility could be pitched as a way to bring more high-profile events to Charlotte, including the NCAA Final Four and the Super Bowl.
Image of Bank of America Stadium courtesy Carolina Panthers.
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