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Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013 | 10:34 p.m.
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Posted: 5:35 p.m. Thursday, March 28, 2013
By Scott Wickersham
CHARLOTTE, N.C. —
A bill allowing Charlotte to use existing tax money meant for the convention center to upgrade Bank of America Stadium has passed the House.
But the CRVA says it's just as important, with tourism employing 43,000 people here.
CRVA leader Tom Murray said the convention center just got a new roof, needs new moveable walls and updated bathrooms, and may need to expand.
"What this industry had grown in 10 years is amazing. It would be naive to think 10 years from now, it won't have different needs than it has today," said Murray.
Chamber lobbyist Natalie English is still trying to negotiate a deal with lawmakers so the city doesn't have to make a choice between the two venues.
"The bill they passed yesterday is helpful. But it’s not enough to keep the team here for a longer term," said English.
She's now talking to the Commerce Department, looking at grants designed to keep companies from leaving.
If that comes through, convention funds could stay put.
But if the current bill is the only option, very soon city leaders may have to make a choice.
The bill to allow convention money to be spent on the Panthers now moves to the Senate.
The Charlotte Chamber said it will try up until the very end of their session this summer to secure other funding from the state.
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