NFL owners unanimously approved hedge fund manager David Tepper’s purchase of the Carolina Panthers Tuesday.
Sources say Tepper, 60, purchased the team from Jerry Richardson for $2.2 billion, making it the most expensive purchase in American football history.
In a press conference immediately following the vote, Tepper praised the city of Charlotte – citing it as a motivating factor in his purchase of the team.
“I think it’s a fantastic place with a great football tradition,” Tepper said. “I think it’s a great football area, good people.”
He assured that the team would stay in the Carolinas.
“What’s the name of the team? It’s the Carolina Panthers,” Tepper said. “That means this team needs to have some sort of presence in the Carolinas.”
He also repeatedly called Charlotte the “logical” home for the team, but said it’s too early to discuss a new stadium.
Tepper’s purchase marked the end of Richardson’s 25-year ownership of the franchise. Richardson put the team up for sale last December, following accusations of sexual harassment and racial misconduct. When asked about what changes he would make to improve the team’s business culture, Tepper said he needed more time to evaluate the situation. But he made his personal beliefs clear:
“For me, I’m a person that believes in equality for everybody - including men and women,” he said.
Tepper closed by summarizing his priorities for the franchise.
“The first thing I care about is winning,” he said. “The second thing I care about is winning. The third thing I care about is... winning.”
Tepper’s purchase is expected to be finalized in July.