Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson will walk away with a huge profit when he sells the NFL franchise. On Sunday, he announced his plans to sell his principle share of the team after it was announced he was being investigated by the team for workplace misconduct.
Despite the current circumstances, the team might sell for between $2.5 billion and $2.8 billion. Forbes magazine has valued the Panthers at $2.3 billion, which is 21st amongst 32 NFL teams.
Either price or one in between would be a huge return on the original investment Richardson made in 1993 of $206 million for the rights to start his own team. Richardson said during 2009 that his family was 48% of the NFL franchise.
The Panthers are expected to attract several bidders, said one source, due to the thought they are very well run and in a good market on the U.S. East Coast. In addition, one of today’s most marketable NFL stars, Cam Newton, is the team’s star quarterback.
Another factor involved that might drive the price up is that NFL teams are very rarely sold on the open market. The last time one was sold was in 2014 when the Buffalo Bills were bought for $1.1 billion, which at the time was a record. The Bills play in a much smaller market compared to the Panthers who are based in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Richardson said he would not entertain any offers until the season is over, but some possible buyers have already expressed an interest.
Rapper Sean “Diddy” Combs tweeted that he was interested in buying the team noting that there are not any majority owners in the NFL who are African American.
He also said on Instagram that he would immediately address the situation with Colin Kaepernick and put him into the running to be the next starting quarterback for the team.
Stephen Curry the star guard for the NBA Golden State Warriors re-tweeted Diddy’s tweet and said he wanted in.
Kaepernick followed with his own tweet saying he would be interested in being involved. It was not clear how serious any of them are.
In Richardson’s message announcing the team would be put up for sale, no mention was made of the ongoing misconduct investigation, which was taken over by the NFL from the team.
The last time a high-profile owner of a pro sports team sold the team under undignified circumstances was in 2014 when then owner of the Los Angeles Clippers Donald Sterling was banned for life from the NBA for racists comments that were recorded and then released.