Now that the sale of the Carolina Panthers to David Tepper is completely final, the new owner decided to hold a press conference to meet and greet the media and say some words about how things are going to be run from this point forward. Here are the notes of what he touched on:
On the needs for updated facilities:
Tepper made it clear he wants to upgrade the practice facilities to be on par with the rest of the league. He also called Bank of America stadium “old” but did not outright make any claims to his intentions for a new stadium or big renovation. He did maintain that he believes the Charlotte area to be a natural home for the Panthers and is committed to keeping it close no matter what.
On the plans for current facilities:
Tepper acknowledged the federal legislation regarding sports betting and emphasized that he wants to keep fans inside the stadium instead of them having more incentive to stay at home. He also wants to host more events at the current stadium including concerts and high school football championships that will benefit local commerce and the community.
“Everything goes hand in hand in this community. I think high school championships should be played at the stadium, I think there should be bigger events like the right type of concerts. I want to utilize the stadium more for the community.”
Tepper also said that he would approach tax-funding issues for new facilities with a moderate approach. He feels that if he brings more business and commerce to the area that revenue shows itself in the form of tax dollars which should be partially reinvested into the team facilities.
When asked about the sexual harrassment issues this team endured:
Tepper made it clear that a new sheriff is in town, and he intends to do things the right way.
“whatever it was, was, this is now, this is going to be an open place, there will be no Non disclosure agreements in this place.”
On plans for the football side of things:
Tepper stated that he is happy with the current staff, he likes the changes made and the guys that are already in place. He specifically mentioned how much he likes Ron Rivera. Be mindful Tepper comes from a minority ownership in a franchise, the Pittsburgh Steelers, that rarely ever changed coaches.
“Blessed with a good football side here, i appreciate the changes made on that staff side.”
“Not looking to do much there, we’ve got good folks there.”
After those couple of quotes he released a couple “It is what it is” liners regarding the football staff and then his personal faith.
On community involvement and patriotism:
Tepper gave the impression that even more focus will be made on the team’s community impact, but praised current efforts which he considers to be excellent. In general, this conference had a measure of acknowledgement of social responsibility to it, which is very welcome.
“With great power comes great responsibility, I know I have that, and our players have that”
“I’m a big believer in social justice. With liberty and justice for all. It’s what this whole thing is all about. It’s the most patriotic thing a person can do.”
Tepper also gave the impression that players are going to be free to protest and take action on his watch.
On the biggest issues facing the NFL:
Tepper towed the company line here, but was clearly a bit shook about the Ryan Shazier situation in Pittsburgh.
“CBA is a challenge, CTE is a challenge, Shazier was a big shock... the league continues to address these challenges.”
On the statue of Jerry Richardson outside the stadium:
We have a whole separate article on this, but he flatly said:
“I am contractually obligated to keep that statue as it is.”
My impressions of David Tepper
A refreshing change from what we are used to in Carolina. He was very candid and often spoke off-book to answer questions put in front of him. You could tell he was a bit nervous, but his style changes dramatically when answering questions the way he wants to versus how he knows he HAS to. He gives the impression of being a more media-focused owner and certainly a more charismatic one. I like his style and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for this team.