At a time when plenty of potential buyers are lining up for the Carolina Panthers, a sizable chunk of the Tennessee Titans remains available for sale.
Since last August, Susie Adams Smith has been trying to sell her one-third stake in the team. So far, there have been no takers.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, a fair amount of cursory interest has emerged, and multiple candidates have been close to buying the asset. At least one, according to the source, was “very close” to making the purchase.
The problem is this: Once the potential buyers understand that there is no path to acquiring control of the team, and once they realize that Amy Adams Strunk has no desire to sell her one-third interest or to relinquish control that was tentatively obtained from the other two branches of the Bud Adams family tree, the bidders walk away.
As a result, the league’s concerns about the ownership of the Titans still linger. Bud Adams spread the team equally among his three children’s families, but Adams did not give any one of them control. The NFL insists on one person having control, and the NFL has yet to force the situation to a head.
The easiest outcome could be for Strunk to purchase the 33-percent interest held by her sister. Then Strunk would hold 66 percent of the team, and clear and obvious control. Strunk, however, apparently lacks the resources or the interest in doing that.
Thus, ownership of the Titans will continue to be out of technical compliance with the league’s guidelines (from the NFL’s perspective), and the Titans will continue to operate the team in a way that the organization deems appropriate. And Susie Adams Smith will continue to wait for someone who is willing to acquire a major interest in — but no ability to control any portion of — a billion-dollar business enterprise.