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Carolina Panthers

Transcript: David Tepper press conference

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell: "The first subject (at the NFL Spring League Meeting) was the sale of the Carolina Panthers. David Tepper met with the finance committee this morning and got a unanimous approval from the finance committee. We presented him to the membership and he got a unanimous approval from the ownership. So we'd like to congratulate David and welcome him to the NFL. We're thrilled to have him."

David Tepper: "Listen, I'm thrilled about this. It's more than fantastic I guess. I'm willing to answer any questions that ya'll have."

On his motivation for buying the Panthers: "Well, I've been with the Steelers for nine years (as a minority owner), so I've been hanging around this league for a little bit of time. 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. People make fun of me for saying it, but they're just good people – I don't know how to say it any other way than they're like Pittsburgh 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."

On changes planned for the Panthers: "Well I can't change much before I actually buy the team, and I don't know exactly what's there because I haven't been there. So for me to exactly speak about that as far as what I'm going to do is almost impossible. But I'll say this – and this has nothing to do with whatever is there because I don't know – but for me a couple of things: I've had a business for 25 years, and I'm a person that believes for equality for everyone, men and women. Versus me talking about what happened – anything good, bad or indifferent in the past – the past is the past, and the future will be that."

On any plans related to team's location and stadium: "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. It is the Carolina Panthers. That means this team has to have some kind of presence in the Carolinas. How many are there? That's right, there are two (Carolinas). Listen, Charlotte is the logical place for a stadium. As far as a new stadium, you're asking me too much. The only thing I have a market on right now is a lack of knowledge – I'll call it stupidity. I've got that down. I'll learn a lot more in the future. I'm a person who likes to know what I know and know what I don't know. I don't want to say too much about what I don't' know."

On whether he'll have any minority owners and his plans for the football side of the organization: "Again, we're not going to be there until July (when the transation becomes official) to do anything, so the second question I'm going to put off until then because I don't think anything is appropriate. But I do think there's a great team right now, and the biggest thing I can do – answering the same as I did the last question – is that I have a great appreciation for how stupid I am, and sometimes it's better to do nothing than to do something. I think you want to be very careful and move very carefully when you do anything.

"Minority partners? I'm trying to figure out the structure right now. Obviously there are some advantages to having some local partners. I'm trying to determine the development I want to have in the community. The more development there is in the community, that might make it more difficult to have minority partners. If you want to have, for instance, an MLS team or something like that – which might some sense if you are in fact in Charlotte – or you do other things, I'm just trying to determine that in the next six weeks. If I'm moving someplace and we're doing this in Carolina, 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. 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."


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