Charlotte council struggling to find money for Tepper’s stadium expansion

Obviously the big sports news in Charlotte right now is the (abrupt?) firing of Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera. That will pass—coaches come and go–but underneath that big headline is another very interesting headline–the Charlotte City is telling Panthers owner Davis Tepper they don’t have the money for his proposed Bank of America Stadium expansion that would accommodate an expansion Major League Soccer franchise.

Tepper’s request will between $100 million and $215 million, as the Charlotte Observer reported earlier. One Charlotte council member has said the city could be good for $100 million from hospitality and tourism taxes, but another council member says not so fast:

But Julie Eiselt, the mayor pro tem, said the prospect of giving a $100-million package for Bank of America Stadium renovations is “not correct at all.” Eiselt said Tuesday that council members have yet to discuss specific dollar amounts and would not comment on what the city is willing to give Tepper for the stadium overhaul.

“I don’t think it’s appropriate,” Eiselt said. “It’s like saying, ‘Here you go, Mr. Tepper. Here’s a blank check.’ ”

Eiselt said the council is still trying to understand what exactly Tepper is asking for — and why.

Bottom line is—according to the Observer—the “convention center fund” —the umbrella covering “capital maintenance, repair and refurbishment of the Charlotte Convention Center, Bank of America Stadium, and amateur sports infrastructure,” has a $75 million fund balance, with $55 million more coming from FY 2019.

Stay tuned—Tepper has shown with Rivera’s firing that he’s not shy about pulling the trigger when he doesn’t get what he wants. So far the numbers dictate he will not get what he wants from the City Council.

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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