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Panthers finalize sale to David Tepper; COO resigns

David Tepper's purchase of the Carolina Panthers is in the books.

The team announced Monday that the sale of the franchise to Tepper, the billionaire hedge fund manager, has closed.

"I am thrilled to begin this new era of Carolina Panthers football and am humbled by the overwhelming excitement and support for the team," Tepper said in a statement released by the club. "On behalf of the fans and myself, I thank Jerry Richardson for bringing the team to the Carolinas and for entrusting me with its future."

Said Tepper: "Winning is the most important thing both on the field and in the community, and I am committed to winning a Super Bowl championship together. I look forward to being part of the Panthers' family and to supporting this flourishing region."

In addition to Tepper's ownership being finalized, the Panthersannounced the resignation of Tina Becker, the team's chief operating officer. Becker, a 19-year employee with the team, was promoted to the position in December after Richardson announced he was selling the team on the heels of an NFL-led investigation into allegations of workplace misconduct against him.

Richardson was ultimately fined $2.75 million in June as a result of the NFL's investigation, which substantiated those claims of workplace misconduct.

Tepper was approved as Carolina's new owner at the Spring League Meeting in May. He purchased the Panthers from Richardson, the former majority owner, for $2.275 billion -- the most ever paid for a North American sports franchise.

The Panthers open their season on Sept. 9 at home against the Dallas Cowboys.

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