Charlotte business community shows support for BofA Stadium renovation project

CHARLOTTE — The business community is rallying behind Charlotte City Council’s proposed renovation project for Bank of America Stadium.

On Wednesday, business, sports, and hospitality leaders held a news conference at the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance to show support for the deal.


Charlotte City Council is considering spending $650 million to renovate the nearly 30-year-old home to the Carolina Panthers and Charlotte FC. The money would come from the Convention Center Fund, a bucket of money that can only be used for Convention Center upgrades, amateur sports, or Bank of America Stadium upgrades.

Leaders say 1 in 9 people in Charlotte work in the hospitality industry. They said investments in Bank of America Stadium will ensure that the industry remains busy.

Charlotte Sports Foundation head and former Panthers President Danny Morrison said he believes the changes will make Bank of America Stadium one of the best stadiums in the nation.

“I love the fact it is a classic American stadium. You can move around on every level,” Morrison said. “They are coming back to that now, the new architecture, and now with the modernization and refresh, I really believe it will be the best outdoor stadium in America.”

Charlotte City Council has a $650 million cap on funding for the project and will not be responsible for any overruns. Tepper Sports & Entertainment bears that responsibility. With a project this size, developer Johnny Harris said overruns are almost guaranteed. He said the fact Charlotte won’t be responsible for them is a big win for the city.

Ernst and Young’s Malcolm Coley says the project will have a generational impact on minority and female contractors. He says it’s rare for a deal this size.

“They do not come around that often so we have to take advantage of it,” said Coley.

Charlotte resident Grace Fendrick plans to speak out against the project on June 24 before the council votes on it.

“I am not super happy about this deal,” Fendrick said.

She is opposed to public funding of stadium projects.

“I think it’s incredibly irresponsible for city council to set the precedent that we will do anything to keep someone around for only 20 years,” Fendrick said.

Hotel owner Vinay Patel says if anyone questions the impact of Bank of America Stadium, they should talk to business owners.

“I am very surprised when I hear academic economists talking about this saying this may not be a good investment,” Patel said. “I don’t think they are talking to business owners. I don’t think they were talking to business owners who were doing business Saturday night with George Strait.”

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