by Sam Hieb
Charlotte Oberserver ponders the possibility of a new Carolina Panthers stadium.
Obviously one issue is the availability of land uptown:
Atlanta built a $1.5 billion stadium that hosts football and soccer under a retractable roof. Pittsburgh is building a mixed-use entertainment district in the half-mile stretch between its existing football and baseball stadiums. And Minneapolis’ new stadium hosted the Super Bowl in 2018.
Now, Panthers owner David Tepper wants Charlotte to follow with the next stadium redevelopment project.
Last month, he told reporters that he’d like to have a new stadium with a retractable roof in Charlotte in the next decade, with taxpayer assistance to help with the costs.
But among his biggest challenges: there’s a lot less land available in uptown now than there was in 1994, when workers broke ground on Bank of America Stadium.
And of course there are the politics of a billionaire getting taxpayer assistance with building a brand new stadium:
Tepper has indicated that a new stadium would have to be built in coordination with the city.
Other cities have invested significant capital in such projects. Atlanta provided $200 million upfront to finance the construction of the $1.5 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium, and several hundred million more in taxpayer dollars for upkeep for three decades.
Ron Kimble, former deputy Charlotte city manager, has told city council members that the city’s tourism tax wouldn’t be enough to cover the city’s share of the cost of financing a new stadium, the Observer reported.
It’s clear Tepper wants this, and I can’t imagine Queen city leaders allowing letting the Panthers flee to South Carolina. This is going to be interesting.