ATLANTA – David Tepper was unanimously approved as the new owner of the Carolina Panthers on Tuesday at the NFL Spring Meeting.
Commissioner Roger Goodell revealed that both the finance committee and the league's owners were unanimous in their support of Tepper taking over the franchise founded by Jerry Richardson, who was in attendance for the session at the Whitely Hotel and received an ovation from league executives before exiting.
"I'm thrilled about this," said Tepper, the founder and president of global hedge fund Appaloosa Management, L.P. and a well-known philanthropist.
Tepper, a Pittsburgh native, had been a minority owner of the Steelers since 2009.
"I've been with the Steelers for nine years, so I've been hanging around this league for a little bit of time," Tepper said. "When this opportunity came up – listen, I think it's a fantastic place with a great football tradition. I think it's a great football area with good people.
"I was very comfortable down there. For me, we do a lot of charity around the country, and it's a fantastic platform to expand on charity too and those sort of things."
Later in his press conference, Tepper was asked about his plans for the team's location.
"What's the name of the team? The Carolina Panthers. It's going to be the Carolina Panthers. There is a logical place for this team, and it's Charlotte," Tepper said. "This team has to have some kind of presence in the Carolinas."
Since the sale won't officially be finalized until July, Tepper didn't feel it was appropriate to comment on the structure of the organization or any potential changes.
But he made his primary objective very clear.
"The first thing I care about is winning. The second thing I care about is winning. And the third thing I care about is… you guys are smart," Tepper said. "That's on and off the field. That includes the charity aspect, the community aspect and how we make a community better. You win in a lot of ways, and I don't like to lose in any way."