Carolina Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon downplayed the notion that he saved the Alliance of American Football with his $250 million investment last week. But he did acknowledge that his, ahem, liquidity certainly helped the league at a time when there might have been some short-term shortfalls in terms of payroll.
In an interview on 99.9 The Fan in Raleigh, Dundon said that he was first approached by AAF officials last Wednesday, and that the deal was sealed and funded by Thursday.
“There’s a difference between commitments and funding,” Dundon said. “They had the commitments to last a long time, but maybe not the money in the bank. My money is in my bank. I’m sure of it.”
Like AAF co-founder Charlie Ebersol did earlier today, Dundon painted a picture of aggressively skipping steps of investment, as opposed to bailing out a troubled property. Dundon said the AAF “wasn’t a viability issue” as it pertains to short-term expenses, but that he invested now should eliminate any concerns about the league’s future.
“There were other people they were talking to,” Dundon said. “And Charlie has means. The amount of money they needed for Thursday [to pay players] wasn’t an amount of money that would have taken the league down. You could make me feel really good, … but the truth is, had other people they were talking to.
“They didn’t have a permanent solution like I provided.”
Dundon said with his investment, the league’s future was now secure.
“That’s enough money to run this league for a long time,” he said with the kind of laugh only a billionaire can laugh. “We’re good for many years to come with what I just did.”
Now comes the matter of fulfilling the league’s promise, to provide an additional avenue for football, and a place where you can safely experiment with rules and players and new technologies.