• Potential bidder with Carolina ties visits Carolina Panthers

    By: Tina Terry

    Updated:

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A prospective buyer of the Carolina Panthers toured Bank of America Stadium Monday to get a close-up look at what he’s bidding on.

    Chopper 9 Skyzoom flew over the stadium in uptown Charlotte as the video boards were lit up for billionaire Ben Navarro's visit.


    (Ben Navarro, potential bidder)

    Navarro is the CEO and founder of Sherman Financial Group, which is a global diversified financial services company based in Charleston, South Carolina.


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    His connection to the Carolinas may set him apart from the other potential bidders.

    “The NFL is looking for someone that is gonna keep this franchise in Charlotte, in the Carolinas,” said Patrick Rishe, director of the Sports Business Program at Washington University in St. Louis.

    Some other potential bidders are reportedly from Florida and Philadelphia.

    Last week, Canadian businessman Alan Kestenbaum visited as a potential bidder.

    As Navarro weighs his decision, Rishe said the NFL is likely taking a deep dive into his past.

    “In this day and age, (it will look for) people who don't have any marks on their record, people who have a good history of how they've operated in the business world and don't have things like harassment or anything of that nature in their background,” he said.

    The NFL said it wants to vote on the new owner at its meeting in May. It will take a three-fourths vote of the owners to decide who wins the bid.

    ESPN.com is reporting a current top bid of $2.2 billion for the franchise.

    Bloomberg reported there's also a $2.5 billion offer on the table.

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