South Carolina county sues David Tepper over terminated team facility

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A South Carolina county is suing companies owned by Panthers owner David Tepper for more than $21 million over the imploded efforts to build the team’s new headquarters in Rock Hill, David Newton of ESPN reports.

The suit was filed late Thursday, less than a month after the project was canceled and Tepper’s real estate company, GT Real Estate Holdings, filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy on the project.

York County wants Tepper to repay “improperly utilized’’ funds the South Carolina county spent toward building infrastructure around the site.

The city of Rock Hill also is being sued along with Tepper’s Appaloosa Management LP, DT Sports Holding LLC and Tepper Sports Inc.

York County claims it has been “damaged” by the breakdown between Tepper’s company and Rock Hill. It seeks reimbursement for the $21 million plus interest, and other costs, including lost tax revenue and economic benefits, damages (actual, exemplary and punitive), increased construction costs and attorney’s fees.

“The Tepper Defendants directed the misappropriation of $21 million of statutorily restricted, public funds from their stated purpose, the expansion of a roadway in York County, and improperly utilized these funds on their failed vanity project, the Carolina Panthers’ headquarters and practice facility,’’ the suit stated, via Newton. “Rather than cover the ballooning project budget themselves, the Tepper Defendants took money from York County and its taxpayers.’’

Tepper has a net worth of $16.7 billion, according to Forbes magazine. He spent more than $175 million on the project, which was paused March 7 after Tepper’s companies alleged Rock Hill had failed to come up with $225 million in promised bonds for the 240-acre development.

The team walked away from the project April 19.

The Panthers did not immediately respond to a request from ESPN for comment.

7 responses to “South Carolina county sues David Tepper over terminated team facility

  1. Oh look!
    An owner being hit with a civil lawsuit.
    But we know owners don’t face punishment from the “Czar of Personal Conduct”, Roger Goodell, the same way players do.

  2. If Rock Hill city authorities took and misappropriated county funds, then they are then ones that deserve to pay back the 21M. Just a bunch of yokels trying to get some side money/bribe money – now pay it back. They failed on their promises – very rare occasion I side with a billionaire – but Rock Hill ripped off the county and the taxpayers.

  3. Did I read that right? A NFL owner worth over $16 billion dollars backing out of a project because he didn’t receive $225 million (1.3% of his worth) from the average Joe taxpayer! Why do 5 figure taxpayers subsidize 10 & 11 figure (billionaire) owners? Why do politicians put their constituents in this position? Is the fear of losing a team such a psychological impediment that you lose all good sense?

  4. Easily the biggest nickle and dime dirtbag of all the owners. The type of person that would allow his mother to collect social security.

  5. I’m in the Carolinas and it’s a quagmire. Gazillionaire claiming bankruptcy isn’t going over well. At the same time, looks like the pols thought they could change the deal and shame him into paying what they owed.

    We have a hockey team and college basketball, (I’m including Hornets there), and not much else.

  6. As that wise philosopher Gomer Pyle once said, “Surprise, surprise, surprise!!”

  7. I work with a small company that is not getting paid what could be 30% of its annual revenue cause this multi-billionaire is using a real estate development company and the bankruptcy courts as a shield. I wish a journalist would do a story on the every day normal working Joes that are getting crewed by this guy.

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