Where Panthers $2.2B sale ranks among richest deals in US sports history

By SportsFOXBusiness

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The reported sale price of the NFL’s Carolina Panthers to billionaire hedge fund manager David Tepper would tie a record for U.S. sports franchises.

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Tepper, the 60-year-old founder of Appaloosa Management, has agreed to buy the Panthers for at least $2.2 billion, The Associated Press reported, citing multiple sources familiar with the matter. The NFL’s owners will vote on whether to accept Tepper’s bid later this month at a league meeting in Atlanta.

The Panthers went on sale earlier this year after team owner and founder Jerry Richardson agreed to sell the franchise as he faced allegations of workplace misconduct. To buy the Panthers, Tepper would have to sell his minority ownership stake in the Pittsburgh Steelers.

If closed, the deal would surpass the previous NFL record set by the Buffalo Bills, which sold for $1.4 billion in 2014.

FOX Business breaks down the most expensive franchise sales in the history of U.S. sports below.

Houston Rockets, NBA, $2.2 billion: Casino and restaurant magnate Tilman Fertitta paid $2.2 billion to buy the Rockets from previous owner Leslie Alexander in a deal that was completed in September 2017. The sale price ties Tepper’s reported bid for the Panthers and currently ranks as the most expensive in NBA history.

Los Angeles Clippers, NBA, $2 billion: Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer paid a then-record $2 billion to purchase the Clippers from Donald Sterling in 2014. Sterling was forced to sell the franchise after he was caught on tape making racially insensitive remarks.

Los Angeles Dodgers, MLB, $2 billion: The Dodgers were sold for $2 billion in 2012 to Guggenheim Baseball Management, an investment group that includes NBA legend Magic Johnson. The team was sold after previous owner Frank McCourt included the franchise in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.

Buffalo Bills, NFL, $1.4 billion: Terry Pegula paid $1.4 billion to purchase the franchise in 2014, breaking the league’s previous record.

Miami Marlins, MLB, $1.2 billion: Former Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria sold the franchise last year to a group led by New York businessman Bruce Sherman and former New York Yankees star Derek Jeter.

Miami Dolphins, NFL, $1.1 billion: Real estate developer Stephen Ross paid a reported $1.1 billion to acquire the Dolphins in a deal that closed in 2009.

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