While Jerry Richardson said goodbye to Panthers fans as the sale of the team became finalized, the COO resigned.
David Tepper is now officially the owner of the Carolina Panthers after the sale of the team closed Monday, the team announced.
It was reported back in May that Tepper was purchasing the team for $2.2 billion in cash and $75 million deferred and the other NFL owners approved the sale on May 22. Tepper was buying the team from founder Jerry Richardson, who put the Panthers up for sale after alleged confidential payouts for workplace misconduct, including sexual harassment and use of a racial slur sparked an investigation into the team's workplace by the league.
"I am thrilled to begin this new era of Carolina Panthers football and am humbled by the overwhelming excitement and support for the team," Tepper said in a statement. "On behalf of the fans and myself, I thank Jerry Richardson for bringing the team to the Carolinas and for entrusting me with its future. Winning is the most important thing both on the field and in the community, and I am committed to winning a Super Bowl championship together. I look forward to being part of the Panthers’ family and to supporting this flourishing region."
With Richardson officially removed from the franchise after bringing it to Charlotte in 1995, he decided to offer a final goodbye to the fans who supported the team that won two NFC titles during his 23 years as owner.
Richardson's statement reads:
Rosalind and I want to express our appreciation to all of you for creating such a powerful, passionate fan experience for the past 23 seasons.
We are grateful to the Carolina community for the love and support you have shown your Panthers. Your enthusiasm for football and devotion to the team has been a source of strength for us and for everyone who calls the Carolinas home.
We also want to thank the Panthers organization for delivering great football and a great fan experience, week after week, for almost a quarter-century. Your hard work and dedication has not gone unnoticed. You have made a measurable difference and you made us proud.
It's been almost 60 years since I last took the field, and I know how tough it is to play this game. I have the highest respect for the men who wear the Panthers jersey. You inspire me every week with your commitment and your determination to win. I will always be your Number One fan.
I wish Mr. Tepper all the best; the team is in good hands. The stadium is a wonderful place to watch a game with friends and family. Carolina is and will be a contender. From the thousands of people who come every year to training camp to the millions of fans who come to the stadium or follow the team every day, we thank you for making a home for Panthers football in your hearts.
In addition to Richardson being gone from the team, COO Tina Becker also announced her resignation after 19 years with the team. Becker had been the COO since December of 2017.