Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon invests $250 million in Alliance of American Football

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Tom Dundon is a sports fan with money and it’s abundantly clear he is willing to spend it to become a major player in the sports world.

The Hurricanes owner will be unveiled as the new Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Alliance of American Football on Tuesday, all thanks to a $250 million investment. The news was first reported late Monday by David Glenn of The Athletic Carolina.

“This was a terrific opportunity for Tom to expand his investment in the sports world,” said Hurricanes President/GM Don Waddell. “The AAF is off to an exciting start as a league and was founded on some truly unique and groundbreaking concepts.

What’s interesting is that Dundon’s cash infusion was less an investment in the AAF and more an outright purchase of the league. Just one week into its playing existence, the AAF was already reportedly in dire financial straits, to the point that payrolls were going to be missed. Dundon’s quarter billion will keep it alive.

While the league has solid TV contracts in place and initial ratings were positive, that kind of immediate financial precipice makes you wonder what Dundon’s getting himself into. However, you clearly don’t become a billionaire by throwing hundreds of millions away, so we must assume that Dundon sees an angle here.

We also must assume that he’s got an insatiable desire for more challenges in his professional life. He bought the Hurricanes and immediately began re-shaping the team’s front office. Now the AAF will be Dundon-ized.

It’s fair to ask where the Hurricanes fit in all this. Where does being a hockey owner stack up with running an entire fledgling football league? Currently enjoying their most exciting time as a franchise since at least the 2011 All Star Weekend, the team is back in action Tuesday night vs the Rangers.

On that front, Waddell’s quotes in the press release seemed aimed and reassuring any worried Canes fans: “Tom is excited about the direction of the Carolina Hurricanes and remains fully committed to this franchise’s current and future success in Raleigh.”

Besides, if he’s got $250M to toss at an uncertain startup football league, surely he’ll happily part with the $80+ million it’ll take to sign Sebastian Aho, right? Aho after all is the sure thing.

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