Carolina Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon has invested $250 million into the Alliance of American Football and will become the upstart league’s new chairman.
“As a lifelong sports fan and entrepreneur, I’ve always valued the opportunities generated in the ecosystem of sports and entertainment,” Dundon said in a statement released by the AAF. “I’m impressed with The Alliance’s stunning growth in-stadium and across TV, mobile and social media in just these first few weeks.”
Business reporter Darren Rovell reported Tuesday that the league missed payroll in Week 1 and informed agents players would be paid Tuesday (Feb. 19) at the latest.
“The AAF missed payroll in Week 1. They told agents that it was a glitch with switching to a new administrator. They told players would be paid by today the latest,” Rovell posted via Twitter.
The Athletic reported on Monday that Dundon’s investment helped the AAF avoid a payroll shortage prior to last weekend’s second round of games.
“Without a new, nine-figure investor, nobody is sure what would have happened,” a source told The Athletic. “You can always tell people their checks are going to be a little late, but how many are going to show up on the weekend for games when they don’t see anything hit their bank accounts on Friday.”
Committed to Hurricanes
Dundon’s role as majority owner of the Hurricanes will not change.
“This was a terrific opportunity for Tom to expand his investment in the sports world,” Hurricanes president Don Waddell said in a statement. “The AAF is off to an exciting start as a league and was founded on some truly unique and groundbreaking concepts.
“Tom is excited about the direction of the Carolina Hurricanes and remains fully committed to this franchise’s current and future success in Raleigh.”
Before The Athletic’s report, the early publicity for the AAF was generally positive.
Ratings for the opening slate of games on Feb. 9-10 were better than expected, drawing more viewers than an ABC telecast of the NBA game between the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder.