Michael Rubin's group, which may include Steph Curry, Diddy, out as Panthers bidding hits $2.5 billion

Bidding for the <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nfl/teams/car/" data-ylk="slk:Carolina Panthers">Carolina Panthers</a> has reportedly hit $2.5 billion. (Getty Images)
Bidding for the Carolina Panthers has reportedly hit $2.5 billion. (Getty Images)

It looks like Steph Curry and Sean “Diddy” Combs won’t be buying the Carolina Panthers after all.

The price for the NFL team has reportedly reached $2.5 billion — which would set a record for a United States professional sports franchise. Bloomberg is reporting that billionaire Michael Rubin has “dropped out of the process” due to its rapidly escalating price tag. 

Curry, a Charlotte, North Carolina, native, and Combs were attempting to join Rubin as minority partners in the deal, though nothing was ever finalized. Combs set up meetings with potential investors — including Curry and former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick — shortly after the news broke of the sale.

Owner Jerry Richardson put the Panthers up for sale in December after allegations of sexual and racial workplace misconduct surfaced. Forbes.com currently values the Panthers at $2.3 billion. The Houston Rockets, who were sold for $2.2 billion in 2017, set the previous record for an American sports franchise sale.

There are still three active bids for the team, though details of each have not been made public. Bedrock Industries LP chairman and CEO Alan Kestenbaum, South Carolina billionaire Ben Navarro, and hedge-fund billionaire David Tepper have all made a bid on the team, per Bloomberg.

Once Richardson selects a winning bid, 75 percent of NFL owners must approve the sale before it is official — which they hope to do at meetings on May 21-23 in Atlanta, ESPN reported.

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