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The Fabulous Real Estate Of Carolina Panthers Owner Jerry Richardson


Two days after the Carolina Panthers announced an investigation into allegations against team owner Jerry Richardson, Sports Illustrated published a report detailing sexual harassment, racism and multiple confidential payouts by Richardson and the Panthers.

Seven hours later, Richardson announced he would sell the team at the end of the year. 

Jerry Richardson, right, walks with Jake Delhomme during Carolina Panther's Training Camp at Wofford College in Spartanburg, S.C., in 2009.

Monday, he stepped away from day-to-day operations and Tina Becker was named chief operating officer, according to ESPN.

Several celebrities have already expressed interest in purchasing the team. Diddy tweeted his interest on Sunday night. Colin Kaepernick, Stephen Curry and former running back Maurice Jones-Drew also voiced their interests in entering the world of NFL ownership. 

Before Richardson owned a football team, he had made his money in commercial real estate, namely within the fast-food industry. It started with a franchise purchase from a man named Wilbur Hardee. You can probably guess where that led. 

Here’s what Bisnow knows about the Richardson’s real estate history:

1. Hardee's and Quincy's Family Steakhouses

Together, Richardson and his business partner at the time, Charles Bradshaw, opened the first Hardee’s franchise under the name Spartan Investment Company. It was located in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

Their company, Spartan Food Systems Inc., began trading publicly and started collecting Hardee’s and Quincy’s Family Steakhouses. In 1979, Richardson and Bradshaw sold Spartan Food Systems to Transworld.

2. Denny's, Carrows, Coco's, El Pollo Loco

From 1962 until 1995, Richardson held titles including chairman, CEO and president of Flagstar Companies Inc. The company owned Denny’s, Carrows, Coco's, El Pollo Loco and was the largest franchisee of Hardee's.

In 1994, Denny’s settled a $46M class-action lawsuit alleging racial discrimination. One lawsuit, claiming bias, referenced Richardson personally. Richardson left Flagstar in 1995.

Flagstar changed its name to Advantica in 1998. Advantica sold most of its restaurants to focus on struggling Denny’s locations and in 2002 changed its name to Denny’s Corp.

3. Bojangles'

Hugh McColl Jr., former CEO of Charlotte-based Bank of America Corp., and Richardson, under the name Falfurrias Capital Partners, purchased a controlling interest in Charlotte-based Bojangles' in 2007. Bojangles' is a fast-food concept that specializes in chicken, biscuits and cajun-style dishes. Advent International purchased Falfurrias’ shares in Bojangles' in 2011. Richardson is now a manager of New Bern JJAM LLC, which owns a Bojangles franchise in Raleigh.

4. Panthers Stadium

A statue of Jerry Richardson is at the north entrance of the Bank of America Stadium.

Richardson is listed as a manager of Panthers Stadium LLC. The team owns the Bank of America Stadium, and Richardson owns the team — he is officially listed as a manager of Panthers Football LLC.

5. Jerry Richardson Indoor Stadium

The recently opened Wofford College basketball stadium was paid for with donations from Richardson and his wife, Rosalind. Richardson played football for Wofford before his stint in the NFL. He is one of two NFL owners in history, along with longtime Bears owner George Halas, to have played in the league.