The sale of the Carolina Panthers is a story that we have been following for the whole run because of very important reason: one of the principle candidates for becoming the new owner of the franchise was a minority owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Now we know that the sale of the Panthers is very near official, though it still will not be finalized until next month, but Pittsburgh native David Tepper is now, barring some unforeseen setback, going to be the new owner of the Carolina franchise, the only candidate among the bidders that was rubber-stamped by the owners.
Steelers President Art Rooney II issued a statement yesterday on behalf of the organization expressing his congratulations to Tepper, who has been a part of the team’s ownership group since 2009, on his new opportunity and expressing sadness about his leaving Pittsburgh.
“David Tepper has been a good partner in the Pittsburgh Steelers ownership groups since 2009”, he began. “Though I am sorry he will be leaving us, I am excited for David to become the new owner of the Carolina Panthers. I wish David all the best as he completes the process to finalize the transaction and assumes the leadership of the Panthers’ organization”.
Jerry Richardson has reportedly agreed to sell the Panthers to Tepper for a record $2.275 billion, which is nearly $1 billion more than the previous high for the sale of an NFL team. It is right around the same price as the highest for an American sport franchise ever that being the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets, though Tepper is a sole owner in his case.
“Bringing the Panthers and the NFL to the Carolinas in 1993 was enormously fulfilling for Rosalind and me and all of our partners. We are deeply grateful for the outpouring of support over the last 25 years”, Richardson said in a statement.
“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”.
The fact that Tepper is committed to keeping the Panthers in Carolina was a major sticking point not just for Richardson but for the other owners. “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”, he said of the new owner.
“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”, Tepper said in an issued statement. “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”.