If you noticed the video boards turned on Monday at Bank of America Stadium, there was a reason. A second potential bidder for the Carolina Panthers visited the Queen City Monday and another could come to town today, according to multiple media outlets.
Ben Navarro, a South Carolina businessman from Charleston, met with team officials and toured facilities on Monday afternoon, according to a Fox 46 Charlotte report that spotted Navarro on site. Navarro is the founder and CEO of Sherman Financial Group, which includes credit cards, loans, real estate and consumer debt, among other investments. Another possible bidder, hedge-fund billionaire and Pittsburgh Steelers minority owner David Tepper, is also expected in Charlotte today, reported the Charlotte Observer, citing a source. In an interview last month with the Charlotte Business Journal, Charlotte entrepreneur Felix Sabates, who is part of a local group of investors with plans of bidding for the Panthers, said he believed both Navarro and Tepper would keep the NFL franchise in Charlotte if either purchased the team.
Alan Kestenbaum, a Canadian steel executive, was the first such prospective bidder to come to Charlotte, getting an up-close look at his potential investment last week.
Recent reports indicate the price tag for the NFL franchise is pegged at $2.5 billion. And chatter from last week’s NFL meetings in Orlando, Fla., indicate the sale could wrap up by May.
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