NHL Owner Pumps Cash Into Upstart American Football League

By Community | February 20, 2019

NHL owner Tom Dundon is investing $250 million into the new Alliance of American Football and will serve as the new Chairman of the league, which kicked off on February 9,

“Since the beginning, it has been crucial that the foundation of The Alliance be set with world-class partners and Tom Dundon represents just that,” said Charlie Ebersol, co-founder and CEO, The Alliance. “Tom, Bill Polian, and I will work with our great team at The Alliance to expand our football operations and technology business. Tom is a self-made American success story who brings a wealth of knowledge in the sports, entertainment and finance worlds and proven leadership to our organization.”

Ebersol denied press reports that the league needed to be bailed out to advoid missing payments.

He told ESPN: “This has been an extraordinary undertaking for us. It’s a giant challenge and opportunity, and as a start-up 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, who made his fortune in subprime auto loans, is Chairman and Managing Partner of Dallas-based Dundon Capital Partners. He is principal owner of the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes (since January 2018) and also a 55% shareholder of global sports entertainment company Topgolf (as well as co-founder of Trinity Forest Golf Club in Dallas).

He said: “As a lifelong sports fan and entrepreneur, I’ve always valued the opportunities generated in the ecosystem of sports and entertainment. I’m impressed with The Alliance’s stunning growth in-stadium and across TV, mobile and social media in just these first few weeks.”

The eight-team league is slated for a 10-week regular season, with a championship game set for April 27.