When he bought the Carolina Panthers last year, David Tepper sure looked a lot like the other 31 members of that most exclusive club, National Football League franchise owners: white, male, exceedingly rich. But there were some important differences. For instance, Tepper is way, way richer than the others, and unlike most of them, he actually made his fortune himself. He’s not a particularly enthusiastic fan of the current occupant of the White House. Most importantly, he appears to think that his players might just be human beings with intellects and agency and the right to be heard on matters of importance to them, and not faceless beasts of burden, primarily descended from the lesser races, designed to be replaced when their brains get a boo-boo, as they are seen by most if not all of the other 31.
On second thought, nope: He’s exactly like the other 31.
Panthers owner David Tepper has already gotten the state of South Carolina to help him pay for a new practice facility. He’s apparently willing to put his “Two States, One Team” motto into practice by letting North Carolinians help him with a bigger project.
Tepper told Ben Fischer of the Sports Business Journal he hoped to build a new retractable-dome stadium in Charlotte, as long as there was taxpayer help.
“At some point, I would make a big investment if I could get the state and others on board in a new stadium that would be great for soccer and great for football,” Tepper said, referring to his bid to bring MLS to Charlotte. “The economy’s big enough for a revenue tax, a hotel revenue increase that would go a long way to help pay for a new stadium.”
You might be asking, is the same David Tepper who moved to Florida to stop paying state income taxes, thinks the only good thing President Trump has done is cut his taxes, and who routinely earns enough in a single year to make the Panthers’ current home a giant model of his own smooth dome? Why, yes, yes it is.
Tepper has often talked about bringing more events to his stadium, from concerts to Final Fours. To do so would require a different sort of building, and floating the idea now helps people get used to the idea before it’s time to open their wallets. He said he won’t embark on such a project without public help…. Tepper is the richest single owner in the NFL, with an estimated net worth of over $11 billion.