Owner of Carolina Hurricanes Tom Dundon made an investment of $ 250 million in the upstart Alliance of American Football and will be the new president of the league.
The Athletic reported that the league was in danger of not making payroll on Friday before Dundon's investment. AAF founder Charlie Ebersol dismissed reports that the league received an economic rescue from Dundon.
"This has been particularly important to us," said Ebersol, who collaborated with Pro Football Hall of Fame CEO Bill Polian less than a year ago to create AAF. "It is a huge challenge and opportunity, and as start-up you are constantly looking for peace and quiet. When we came out of the first week of games, we saw that there was so much interest from investors, and if we had a person who could take care for us for a very long time, it would be good. "
Eight teams AAF kicked off the weekend after the Super Bowl. Billed as a developmental, the 1
"As a lifelong sports fan and entrepreneur, I have always appreciated the opportunities generated by the sport's ecosystem and entertainment," Dundon said in a statement from the AAF. "I am impressed by the Alliance's fantastic growth in the stadium and television, mobile and social media in the first few weeks."
Ebersol said in a statement that "Tom, Bill Polian, and I will work with our Tom Team is a self-made American success story that provides a wealth of sport, entertainment and finance skills and proven leadership to our organization."
Ebersol is basically the one who raised the financial capital to get the league started – a vision he started three years ago, eventually getting Polian and others aboard. AAF awarded players three-year, $ 250,000 unpaid incentive bonuses.
The league premiered on February 9 at CBS and 2.1 million looked according to rating reports. Ratings, as expected, were dampened when the league broadcasts on cable channels to approximately 640,000 for week 1 Sunday night on the NFL Network. Week 2 game ratings, which appeared on TNT, NFL Network and CBS Sports Network, have not yet been released.
Dundon is NHL's newest owner. The Dallas billionaire took over in January 2018 and bought a majority stake from the long-term owner Peter Karmanos Jr.
Hurricanes issued a statement by Chief Executive Don Waddell and repeated Dundon's commitment to the NHL franchise.
"Tom is excited about the direction of Carolina Hurricanes and is fully committed to this franchise's current and future success in Raleigh," said Waddell.
Dundon, 47, is the former CEO of Dallas-based lending company Santander Consumer USA. He is the founder of Trinity Forest Golf Club in Dallas, home of the PGA Tour's AT&T Byron Nelson, majority owner of Employer Direct Healthcare, a healthcare company and a primary investor in Top Golf.
Hurricanes have not made the playoffs since 2009 – the longest asset the drought in the NHL, and Dundon has promised to inject a new energy into the franchise, which has manifested this season with elaborate home-based tournament tournaments.
Hurricanes have struggled with attendance and have long been the subject of relocation rumors after moving from Hartford , Connecticut 1997. But when Dundon took over as majority owner, he agreed not to apply for a relocation seven years, which is a standard part of NHL purchase agreements. 19659004] In an e-mail, NHL's Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly announced that Dundon did not need permission from the NHL to make this investment in another sport. When asked if the league was concerned that the hurricanes would be adversely affected by an ownership that pumped an investment of this size to another company, Daly said, "No."
ESPN's Greg Wyshynski contributed to this report.