NFL approves David Tepper as new Panthers owner

ATLANTA — NFL owners have approved the deal for David Tepper to become the next owner of the Carolina Panthers at a meeting in Atlanta.

At a news conference announcing the sale, a smiling Tepper showed his excitement.

"I'm thrilled about this. It's more than fantastic," he said.

Tepper was asked if he'll keep the team in Charlotte.

"What's the name of the team? The Carolina Panthers. They will remain the Carolina Panthers," he answered.

Asked about a new stadium or renovating Bank of America Stadium, Tepper said it was too early to start talking about that.

Tepper said the deal won't be final until July, so he won't be making any immediate changes.

According to NFL rules, Tepper needed 24 votes out of the 32 owners. He got unanimous support. A lot of the owners already know him from his stake with the Steelers. Tepper will now need to sell his share in that team.

Because of that, he's already been vetted through the NFL and prepared to buy the team at just over $2.2 billion, in cash.

After Tuesday's news conference, Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles tweeted a welcome.

It's the second time we've heard from Tepper since a tentative deal was first announced. On Sunday, Tepper delivered the commencement address at his alma mater Carnegie Mellon University, to 5,000 students and their families. Channel 9's Paul Boyd spoke one-on-one with him after his commencement speech and asked what the honor meant for him.

"It was pretty fricking good," Tepper said. "It was fun. Listen, I love the place."

Tepper, the founder and president of global hedge fund Appaloosa Management, talked about growing up in Pittsburgh and eventually making his way to Carnegie Mellon where he attended graduate school.

Boyd asked the presumptive Panthers owner if he had a message for fans in Charlotte. Tepper, who was still contractually prevented from discussing the bidding process responded, "Listen to the speech."

In this commencement speech Tepper said, "A kid who couldn't afford to go to an NFL game until well into his 20s is on the verge of getting the NFL's approval to buy the Carolina Panthers. Not too shabby.