Potential new Panthers owner has UFC ties
The Carolina Panthers new owner may have former ties to the Ultimate Fighting Championship…
Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson announced in late December his intention to sell the franchise he founded and watched over since its inception. Amid allegations of workplace misconduct, Richardson resigned from his ownership role and said he would begin addressing offers once the season was complete.
After a wild-card loss to divisional rival New Orleans, the Panthers season officially ended and sale proceedings began taking place. While rumors have swirled about the team moving out of Charlotte, to building a new stadium and even hip-hop artist turned businessman Diddy taking control, the fact remains nothing has been set in stone.
Amid the uncertainty, Carolina continued to proceed with new coaching hires, rookie evaluations and the search for a full-time general manager. Though the latter took a significant hit when interim Marty Hurney was placed on paid leave after his ex-wife raised questions about Hurney’s conduct during their marriage. The NFL is currently investigating.
Now, rumors are beginning to circulate around a new candidate for ownership. Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) owner Frank Fertitta. The Fertitta family bought the UFC just 17 years ago, turning their purchase into a multi-billion dollar industry – selling their part for $4.2 billion.
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Panthers fans could rest a little easier knowing their ties to Las Vegas and any potential thoughts of moving the team there would almost certainly be blocked by the impending Raiders move. Who are scheduled to begin play in Las Vegas during the 2020 season.
However, the Fertitta brothers could still seek to move the Panthers, though the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell have stated it is their intention to have Carolina remain where they are.
Frank Fertitta would be a unique owner and with his ties to promotion and building a brand, it would be interesting to see his approach with the Panthers. Already blessed with a roster full of personality, the change could spark something never before seen in the big four of professional sports – baseball, basketball, hockey or with football.
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However, it could also go south quickly depending on how fans take to the new ownership – regardless of whose name ends up on the winning bid.