There is about to be a new co-champion for the highest purchase of a pro sports franchise, as hedge fund manager David Tepper has agreed to buy the NFL’s Carolina Panthers for a hefty $2.2 billion.
Believe it or not though, that only ties the largest purchase for a professional sports franchise ever.
Last year, the Houston Rockets of the NBA also were sold for $2.2 billion to restaurant mogul Tilman Fertitta.
There are now four sports franchises that have been bought for at least $2 billion, which is more than the gross domestic product of economically underdeveloped countries (Rockets guard James Harden could probably buy a country or two with the $223 million contract extension he signed last year).
The Los Angeles Clippers of the NBA and the Los Angeles Dodgers of Major League Baseball also each were bought for $2 billion.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer purchased the Clippers in 2014, while a group led by NBA Hall of Famer Magic Johnson bought the Dodgers in 2012.
The moral of the story is that for any fans of a franchise who are frustrated with the franchise’s current owner and are begging for a sale, there had better be a buyer with at least $2 billion in the bank to make their wish come true.