Now it’s official.
The Panthers announced the sale of the team to Steelers minority partner David Tepper, setting the stage for his being approved at next week’s owners meetings in Atlanta.
“I am thrilled to have been selected to be the next owner of the Carolina Panthers,” Tepper said in a statement from the team. “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. 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.”
Tepper was able to buy the team after Richardson put it up for sale hours after a Sports Illustrated story regarding his alleged workplace misconduct.
That closed the book on the run of the only former NFL player to own a team, as the North Carolina-native said goodbye.
“Bringing the Panthers and the NFL to the Carolinas in 1993 was enormously fulfilling for Rosalind and me and all of our partners,” Richardson said. “We are deeply grateful for the outpouring of support over the last 25 years. You have taken the Panthers into your hearts and made them part of this warm and supportive community. 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.
“I look forward to turning the stewardship of the Panthers over to David Tepper. 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. I wish David and his family the very best as they enter this exciting new phase of their lives.”
The sale might not close until July, but the league was eager to get Tepper into the club on a bigger basis, making him one of the richest in a club of very rich people.