The Carolina Panthers have a new owner in David Tepper, who agreed to buy the franchise from Jerry Richardson for $2.2 billion.
The record-breaking price is the highest for an NFL team, surpassing the $1.4 billion for the Buffalo Bills in 2014.
Here’s what you need to know about 60-year-old Tepper and what he means for the Panthers.
Most importantly for Carolina fans, Tepper is expected to keep the team where they are and not relocate.
Of course, with Tepper’s background as a shrewd businessman, it’s fair to wonder if that could change down the road when an opportunity opens up. But at the moment, according to all indications, Tepper shares Richardson’s vision for the franchise in the North Carolina region.
Guess he knew it all along: New @Panthers owner David Tepper posed with his favorite @NFL helmet at Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis in February. His spokesman just released this photo pic.twitter.com/9EFKcb9jyf— Erik Spanberg (@CBJspanberg) May 16, 2018
Tepper is actually already a known name in NFL circles because he’s a minority owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
For that reason, it was simpler for the NFL to approve the sale of the Panthers to him as he’s already passed the league’s vetting process.
Tepper, who was born in Pittsburgh, will have to sell his 5 per cent stake in the Steelers before completing the Panthers purchase.
Tepper will immediately become one of the wealthiest owners in the NFL, thanks to his background as the founder of global hedge fund Appaloosa Management.
His net worth, according to Forbes, is a whopping $11 billion, so he certainly knows how to make money.
His Appaloosa offices have the look of a high-end sports bar, with Steelers memorabilia dispersed throughout.
It’s unclear how much it will matter, but one interesting tidbit on Tepper is that he’s not a fan of United States President Donald Trump.
He hasn’t been shy in his criticism of Trump, having spoken on his disapproval of the President in interviews and even at his alma mater, Carnegie Mellon University.
“You have one person with questionable judgment and the other person may be demented, narcissistic and a scumbag,” Tepper said back in October 2016, ahead of the Presidential election, in an interview on CNBC. “Not saying which one’s which. You can make your own decision on that.”
Trump has his fair share of supporters among owners in the NFL, but he also faced resistance last season when the league pushed back at him regarding the national anthem protests.
With Tepper now one of the most important people in the NFL, there’s a chance he and Trump butt heads.
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