ShareThis Page
Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon invests $250 million in AAF | TribLIVE.com
U.S./World Sports

Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon invests $250 million in AAF

Associated Press
774627_web1_gtr-dundon-022019
AP
Tom Dundon, majority owner of the Carolina Hurricanes, talks to the media about his $250 million investment in the Alliance of American Football league on Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019.

Carolina Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon is investing $250 million in the Alliance of American Football.

Dundon also will serve as chairman of the fledgling eight-team league that began play Feb. 9. His involvement came together in a matter of days last week, according to Dundon and Alliance co-founder Charlie Ebersol, though Dundon had been monitoring the AAF’s development and debut.

Ebersol said Tuesday reports the Alliance was short on cash and needed a bailout from Dundon to make payroll were untrue. He said the league had a technical glitch in its payroll system that has been fixed.

“Tom’s funds were transferred to Alliance accounts last week, and players have never been in jeopardy of not receiving their earned paychecks,” Ebersol said. “It was a clerical error and has been resolved. The two are unrelated.”

Ebersol joined with Pro Football Hall of Fame executive Bill Polian less than a year ago to create the Alliance.

“This has been an extraordinary undertaking for us,” Ebersol said. “It’s a giant challenge and opportunity, and as a startup you are constantly looking for some peace of mind. When we got out of the first week of games, we saw there was so much interest from investors, and if we had one person who could take care of us for a very long time, that would be great.”

Dundon said the AAF won’t be seeking more investors at this time.

“We won’t bring in anybody for capital. We’re not going to take people’s money,” he said.

“It’s so early into this. We’re all in the entertainment business, so we’re just making sure to continue to do what they have done, which is put out a quality product people want to watch and consume, and hopefully we have the capital in place to take advantage of new opportunities. Things are a lot easier when you have got the capital and connections to execute.”

Dundon also is the co-founder of Trinity Forest Golf Club in Dallas, home of the PGA Tour’s AT&T Byron Nelson tournament; the majority owner of Employer Direct Healthcare, a health care services company; and a primary investor in Topgolf, a sports entertainment company.

The Alliance has teams in Atlanta; Phoenix; San Diego; San Antonio; Memphis, Tennessee; Birmingham, Alabama; Orlando, Fla.; and Salt Lake City. It will play a 10-week schedule before its playoffs, finishing on the final weekend of April.

Early response on TV — it has deals with CBS, Turner and NFL Network — and digitally was positive, Ebersol said.

He also said adding Dundon gives the league extra credibility.

“We think there will be other opportunities,” Ebersol said, “but the fact we took one of the biggest worries of any startup off the table with a partner who has proven he knows how to build businesses — and not build to sell but build to build — is huge.”

Categories: Sports | US-World
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.