David Tepper is a Wall Street hedge fund manager, whose personal fortune is estimated at $10 billion.
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He's just shocked the sports world. He's bought the Carolina Panthers. He paid $2.3 billion, cash. That’s huge. The previous record price for an NFL team was $1.4 billion, paid for the Buffalo Bills.
What's going on here? Why that huge price? Well, A) Tepper can afford it, and B) he's a very smart guy who sees opportunities and takes 'em. This is the man who fled high-tax New Jersey for low-tax Florida. He's a leader in the tax exodus field.
But more important is this week's Supreme Court ruling which vastly expands legal sports betting. Nevada no longer has a monopoly. If a state legislature approves, any state can run a sports book. That almost certainly means that sports teams, like the Panthers can take at least a small piece of the action. Mark Cuban for example, says the ruling doubled the value of his Dallas Mavericks basketball team. Well, the ruling came down Monday. Tepper signed his purchase of the Panthers on Tuesday night!
Tepper's only gamble is the anthem protests. If they continue next season, and TV ratings keep sliding, Tepper will not do as well as he hopes. We don't know what influence he might have on other owners when they decide anthem policy.
I don't care for Tepper's politics. He's a Trump hater. Once called him the "father of lies." And he's benefited from the exceptionally low tax rate that hedge fund managers have been paying for years.
But, you have to respect the smarts of a man who's made $10 billion, and who grabbed, very quickly, the opportunity his money, and the Supreme Court, gave him.