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Inside the Panthers pitch: Why York County, Rock Hill are investing $225M

ROCK HILL, S.C. — Shortly after billionaire David Tepper bought the Carolina Panthers in 2018, Rock Hill Mayor John Gettys wrote him a letter.

In the message, Gettys offered up Rock Hill as a potential training camp location, as it was closer to the team’s home base in Charlotte than its existing August home at Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

Little did he know what that letter would lead to.

Now, Rock Hill has landed the biggest economic development deal in the history of York County. The Panthers franchise will move its headquarters and training facilities there. Tepper’s organization is required to invest at least $500 million in the first phase of the project in order to receive local incentives. The total investment is expected to land between $1 billion and $2 billion.

On April 20, York County Council approved a $225 million incentives agreement for the project, which will use redirected tax revenue to cover infrastructure costs at the site.

The state of South Carolina last year granted the project a $160 million incentives package, which includes $115 million to $120 million in job credits and a $40 million Interstate 77 interchange near the site.

Gettys told the Charlotte Business Journal the local investment is justified by the transformation the team envisions for the now-vacant site.

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