‘Depressing’: SC Panthers fans disappointed with practice facility standstill

YORK COUNTY, S.C. — A decision to terminate the construction agreement for the Carolina Panthers’ new practice facility has disappointed York County residents, business owners and Panthers mega-fans.

David Tepper’s company announced the formal termination on Tuesday. Now, locals are saying they expect all parties to come together and fix this issue for the sake of the community.

Channel 9′s Tina Terry spoke with many upset residents. They’re wondering how this failure will impact growth, property values and what will happen to the shell of a building.

Panthers super-fan Kevin Avery has been watching and waiting for construction to wrap up on the practice facility site in Rock Hill.

“Seeing that brought that excitement, like man, it’s going to happen,” said Avery, a season ticket holder and host of a Panthers podcast. “This wasn’t just talk, you’re seeing it. Now it’s just, it’s just real depressing.”

Avery said he is at almost every Panthers game, and he had hoped the Rock Hill practice facility would give the team a bigger presence in South Carolina.

“We needed this. We needed this to verify (the team motto), ‘Two states, one team,’ and the ball was dropped, in my opinion, by the city,” Avery said.

David Tepper’s real estate company in charge of the facilities construction said the city failed to secure funding for public infrastructure when it made the termination decision yesterday, a claim Rock Hill denied.

Neighbors like Don Stanley are wondering how this will impact them.

“Us living next to the actual facility in the neighborhood, obviously property values,” Stanley said. “I think it has detrimental side effects, and we just have this huge facility sitting there.”

Business owners have questions, too. They hoped the facility would bring much-needed growth to the area and their companies.

“I was hoping that project would come together for business, for everybody,” said Aaron Parks, the president of Parks Insurance Agency. “It leaves the city of Rock Hill in a little bit of mess, I think.”

Now, they all are hoping that city and county leaders will work with the Panthers to get construction moving again.

“Take a time-out, step back, let all the emotions subside, come back and get it done,” Avery said. “At the end of the day, the Panthers still need a headquarters and this land is already chopped up.”

Channel 9 reached out to local officials to see if they’ve taken any steps to salvage the project.

A spokesperson for the city of Rock Hill sent a statement saying in part, “... the City is ready to meet at any time, but won’t be providing any further public comment.”

”We laid out a path forward in the resolution our Council passed, which was a new financial plan. At this time, that plan has not been accepted,” a York County spokesperson said.

In its statement on Tuesday, David Tepper’s real estate company said it’s prepared to sit down with the city and others to discuss the challenges ahead.

But on the phone, a spokesperson for Tepper Sports and Entertainment gave no further comment.

(WATCH BELOW: David Tepper’s company says it sent notice to terminate Panthers project in Rock Hill)

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