CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A Miami-based hedge fund manager who owns a small stake of another NFL team is reportedly in the mix of individuals and groups looking to buy the Carolina Panthers.
According to a report from NFL Network's Mike Garafolo, David Tepper is considered a "very strong candidate" to purchase the Panthers.
Garafolo reportedly spoke to a source who called Tepper the "leader in the clubhouse" to purchase the team. Tepper is worth about $11 billion, according to Forbes. The hedge fund manager currently owns a five percent stake in the Pittsburgh Steelers, NFL Network reports.
Tepper joins a shortlist of potential buyers hoping to get a piece of the Panthers from outgoing owner Jerry Richardson. Back in January, sources told NBC Charlotte that NASCAR owner Brian France was a part of a group assembled by Felix Sabates that is hoping to buy the Panthers.
Sabates told NBC Charlotte's Rad Berky that Bruton Smith, who operates the Charlotte Motor Speedway and other tracks across the country, had discussions with Sabates about joining the group, as did Smith's son Marcus.
Sabates also told NBC Charlotte that if his group does buy Richardson's team, they would need a new domed stadium with parking for 20,000 cars.
Back in December, Hip-hop mogul Diddy had expressed interest in purchasing the Panthers hours after Richardson announced his plans to sell the team. NBA star and Charlotte native Stephen Curry showed support for Diddy by tweeting "I want in!"
Curry is known for being a Panthers fan. He was selected by the Panthers to be the team's "Keep Pounding" drummer prior to Super Bowl 50 in 2016.
The Panthers are worth $2.3 billion, according to Forbes. In 1993, Richardson and a group of investors paid $206 million to create the franchise.
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