The Carolina Panthers could sell for twice the previous NFL record, according to some experts. If they do, they’ll also set a new all-time record for the purchase price of an American sports team.
Last September the Panthers were valued at $2.3 billion, 21st among 32 teams on Forbes’ annual rankings. However, the Charlotte Observer reports that experts think the team will go for somewhere between $2.3 and $2.8 billion, depending on how many deep-pocketed bidders show up to the bargaining table.
The current NFL record is $1.4 billion. That’s how much Terry Pegula paid for the Buffalo Bills in 2014 after the passing of team founder Ralph Wilson. The record sale price for any American sports team is $2.2 billion, which is what restaurant mogul Tilman Fertitta paid for the Houston Rockets in September. That beat the previous record of $2 billion paid for the Los Angeles Clippers in 2014 and the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2012.
Current Panthers owner Jerry Richardson put the team up for sale in January after he was accused of sexual misconduct in the workplace. He founded the team for $206 million back in 1993. Seeing as how he owns 48% of the team, if the experts are right, Richardson would make between $1.1 and $1.34 billion on the sale.
That would be a pretty okay return on his initial investment.