CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Two years removed from their second Super Bowl appearance, the Panthers are looking to make another playoff run even though the team is up for sale.
Their 22-19 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday clinched a berth in the playoffs. Carolina has made the playoffs in four of the past five seasons.
On Tuesday, Panthers coach Ron Rivera said he believes building consistency through the years has contributed to the team’s overall value.
"Being consistent winners helps around this building, in the community,” Rivera said. “Keeping the spirits up with the people in the community helps."
Owner Jerry Richardson announced he's selling the team following allegations that he engaged in workplace misconduct.
So far, entertainer Sean Combs, known as “Diddy,” NBA star Stephen Curry and a handful of investors with ties to Charlotte have expressed interest in buying the team.
The Panthers have an estimated worth of nearly $2.4 billion.
Channel 9 looked into what a deep playoff could mean when the team is sold at the end of the season.
“Obviously, if they advance in the playoffs, it would be wonderful for the brand, boost the revenues for this year,” said Patrick Rishe, with the Sports Business Program at Washington University in Saint Louis.
Rishe said the team’s post-season performance won’t have a huge impact on the ultimate sale of the team, but it does point to the team’s consistency when it comes to making it into the playoffs.
“With the inclusion in this year, they've made the playoffs more than they haven't since Cam Newton has been with the team,” Rishe said.
The Panthers quarterback is a factor that Coach Rivera said he believes adds to the value of the team.
“We have a franchise quarterback. We have that guy in place in Cam Newton. We've been able to protect him. When we've been able to protect him, he's been successful,” Rivera said.
Some experts said a potential buyer will likely want to keep the Rivera-Newton duo in place.
Rishe said losing Cam Newton would be a bigger loss than Rivera, but added that keeping both with the franchise would be a good move.
“Based on how things are trending right now in Carolina, Ron is pretty secure and new ownership would be wise to keep this tandem intact,” Rishe said.
Experts have said stadium health and past game attendance are also factors that a potential buyer will examine when deciding how much to pay and whether to keep the team in Charlotte.
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