by Sam Hieb
Charlotte Observer reports Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper may ask the City of Charlotte for up to $215 million toward Bank of America Stadium renovations in hopes of luring a Major League Soccer franchise:
Council members were told Tepper would contribute over $400 million in franchise fees, team salaries and other costs associated with the team. The city would be asked for $100 million to $215 million, a source said. That would be used for stadium upgrades as well as a practice center and team office.
The money would come from tourism-related taxes, not property taxes.
Asked about MLS Tuesday, Panthers President Tom Glick said, “We continue to be in very close contact with the commissioner’s office (regarding expansion). There’s no timetable, but we’re very confident in our candidacy. We don’t have any further update than that right now.”
A Panthers spokesperson would not comment on the city council session.
Arguably the most significant holdup in Charlotte’s bid is the outdated nature of Bank of America Stadium, which opened in 1996 and is one of the NFL’s oldest venues.
Stay tuned–this is going to be a developing story for some time now. I talk to people who swear Tepper will never move the Panthers from downtown Charlotte. All I can say is nothing–nothing–surprises me anymore.