How Charlotte could help the Panthers pay for a $2B stadium

How Charlotte could help the Panthers pay for a $2B stadium

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — David Tepper got everyone’s attention a couple of weeks ago when he said for the first time he wants the Carolina Panthers to be playing in a new, retractable-roof stadium within a decade. Tepper made his comments in an interview with Sports Business Journal, mentioning hotel taxes as a possible source of public money to help pay for a new stadium.

So far, the Panthers and Tepper have made no formal proposals, and negotiations with city government have yet to begin. A team executive told CBJ recently the NFL franchise probably will have a much better idea of stadium plans after the 2019 season has ended.

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The Panthers’ current home, Bank of America Stadium, opened in 1996. By next year, Charlotte’s NFL stadium will be the second-oldest in the 32-team league, according to CSL, a stadium and arena consultant. The Raiders (Las Vegas) and Chargers and Rams (Los Angeles) will move into new stadiums in 2020. The Chargers and Rams will share the same field in Los Angeles, similar to the New York Giants and Jets at MetLife Stadium.

CSL bases its rankings on when each of the 30 stadiums opened and counts older venues such as Soldier Field in Chicago and Lambeau Field in Green Bay as newer because of major renovations that largely gutted the original construction. BofA Stadium has been renovated, most recently with $177 million of upgrades between 2014 and 2018, but not to the same extent as the older Chicago and Green Bay stadiums or Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, among others. The Miami Dolphins spent $425 million on renovations completed in 2016 that include a canopy to shade fans from the sun.

Interviews with a range of sports consultants, government officials and hospitality industry representatives show a willingness to commit taxpayer money for a new NFL stadium in Charlotte. But there’s no consensus on the best approach.

Read the full story here for an analysis of some of the knowns and unknowns regarding the anticipated Panthers stadium proposal.