Panthers have new owner, but stadium issue looms

Surely by now you’ve heard that billionaire hedge fund manager David Tepper will buy the Carolina Panthers for a record $2.2 billion.

Of course the major question looming is what will become of Bank of America Stadium. On the same day the Charlotte Observer reports Tepper’s purchase, they speculate whether or not another round of renovations to the stadium—priced at $75 million—will be enough:

There have been no indications that Tepper — or anyone else — wants to move the team from Charlotte.

But city officials, and business leaders, believe that a new owner would want additional renovations to the 22-year-old stadium. After paying more than $2 billion for the team, the new owners would want a stadium that could generate as much revenue as possible.

It’s possible, however, that the city and the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority could tap into millions of additional tourism dollars.

And where would those “millions of additional tourism dollars” come from? You guessed it—other projects targeted with that funding would be scrapped. What other projects you might ask? Expanding the convention center and subsidizing a new hotel, upgrades t Discovery Place, the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, a rebuild of old Memorial Stadium and–last but not least—-a proposed “partnership” with UNC-Charlotte to build an $8 million conference center near the JW Clay Boulevard light-rail station.

Simply amazing how millions and millions of dollars can just be shuffled around to fund this project or that project.

Sam Hieb / Contributing Editor

Sam Hieb is freelance journalist from Greensboro, North Carolina. He is a contributing editor for Carolina Journal and for Piedmont Publius, a blog that focuses on political a...

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