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This weekend marks four years since David Tepper became owner of the Carolina Panthers. When he paid $2.275 billion for the NFL franchise on July 9, 2018, it set a new benchmark for a team sale.
By October of that year, Tepper ranked as the league’s wealthiest owner after the Seattle Seahawks’ Paul Allen died at age 65.
Since then, Tepper’s reign has included excitement over his arrival, controversy over many of his decisions, legal battles, near-constant losing on the field, extensive stadium renovations, and a quarterback carousel filled with mediocre performers.
Tepper, 64, has undergone a rapid media transformation, too. After making himself available to reporters early in his tenure, he went 16 months without granting interviews before an awkward, 30-minute, virtual press conference prior to the NFL Draft in April. He does still make time for visits with CNBC, where his hedge-fund fortune of $17 billion takes center stage — not his struggles as a newbie sports-team owner.
The anniversary of his purchase warrants an assessment from sports-business consultant Marc Ganis, whose close ties to NFL power brokers earned him a nickname as the league’s 33rd owner. Ganis is not an adviser to the Panthers.
During an interview this week with CBJ, Ganis said Tepper’s ups and downs in Carolina are inevitable for anyone who buys a sports franchise.
“There is always a learning curve when people become first-time owners,” Ganis said. “It does not matter how educated they are, it does not matter how great their instincts are, it does not matter how intelligent they are, it does not matter how hard-working they are. Everyone who buys a team has a learning curve.”
Read the full story here.
(WATCH BELOW: General contractor for failed Panthers facility says Tepper, Panthers should be liable)