Panthers sale: Vincent Viola finalizes purchase of team

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

The Florida Panthers have been purchased by New York businessman Vincent Viola.

Vincent Viola has finalized the purchase of the Florida Panthers franchise, the NHL announced on Friday morning. In addition to the hockey club, Viola has acquired the operating rights of the BB&T Center, which acts as the team's home arena (the lease to the arena runs through 2028).

Viola will act as the team's chairman, principal owner and governor of Sunrise Sports & Entertainment, with Douglas Cifu taking over as vice chariman, partner & alternate governor. Michael Yormak has been promoted to president & CEO.

It has been reported that Viola purchased the team for $250 million, according to Darren Dreger of TSN. While the Panthers are viewed as a struggling franchise, Viola has remained consistent that his group plans to keep the team in Florida.

Viola is the CEO of Virtu Financial, as well as the former chairman of the New York Mercantile Exchange and had previously acted as a minority owner of the New York Nets franchise. Cifu is president and COO at Virtu, and is one of the company's co-founders.

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