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Report: Richardson plans to have Panthers sold after he dies

Jerry Richardson

Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson speaks during a news conference for the NFL football team in Charlotte, N.C., Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013. The team introduced new general manager Dave Gettleman. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

AP

Panthers owner Jerry Richardson has been quiet about negotiations with the city for a little extra money ($125 million) to help upgrade his stadium.

But he’s been even quieter about his plans for the future of the team he founded, particularly after firing his sons from the family business in 2009.

But Erik Spanberg of the Charlotte Business Journal reports the two are linked together, since Richardson’s plan is for the team to be sold within two years of his death.

The 76-year-old Richardson is four years removed from heart transplant surgery, and has been mum on his succession plans since.

But trying to get a deal done with the city is viewed as an important step in tying the team to the region he calls home.

Richardson appeared at the closed session of Charlotte City Council Monday night, after which the Council voted 7-2 to support a proposed one-percent hike on prepared food and beverage taxes to pay for the upgrades to Bank of America Stadium.

While the local panic is about Los Angeles looming, the reality is the Panthers have been a solid draw (with a sellout streak that goes back to December 2002) in their privately-financed stadium, and in the top half of teams in market value according to Forbes rankings, valued at $1 billion.