Could the Panthers Move to South Carolina?
Since David Tepper purchased the Carolina Panthers, he has hinted at making changes to where the Panthers play their games. At first it seemed as if he wanted to add a roof to Bank of America Stadium, but recently it has been clear that he intends to move the Panthers to the border of the Carolina's.
This past September, South Carolina Governor, Henry McMaster, did go on record and confirm that Tepper purchased 200 acres in Rock Hill. The land is located off I-77 and until recently was expected to be the future home of the Panthers' training camp facility. But after recent numbers have been released, moving the Panthers to Rock Hill would do wonders for the state of South Carolina.
Moving the Panthers to the newly acquired land could bring in or surpass $3.7 billion in revenue and create more than 5,000 jobs to South Carolina. Tepper has said that he intends to also build a sports rehab facility along with hotels, restaurants, and other entertainments options for the public. Tepper is trying to build an area that would help bring world events to the Carolinas.
The biggest sporting event a stadium can host is the Super Bowl. By building a new stadium with a roof would put the Panthers towards the top of the list to host the biggest game of the year. But it isn't just football, with the roof, the Panthers could host the Final Four and seeing how successful it has been in other football stadiums, it looks like this is the way basketball is heading. Not to mention all of the non-sports events: concerts, conventions, Presidential/campaign events, etc. This new stadium could bring in a lot of revenue for the state of South Carolina, but who is going to pay for this extreme change?
This previous June, Govenor McMaster signed the "Panthers Bill" which is a law that would give the Panthers close to $115 million in tax breaks to move the team one state down. When this was signed, the intention was to still play their games in Charlotte at Bank of America Stadium, but Tepper has gone publicly with the fact that he has met with architects to try and build a new stadium. The past seven newest NFL stadiums cost close to an average of almost $2 billion and Tepper has already gone on record of intending to not pay for the entire thing. The last 10 NFL stadiums that were built averaged 34% publicly funded while the remaining 66% was privately funded. But is this the best move?
Building a new training camp facility in Rock Hill would make more sense than to host their camp at Wofford College every summer. But keeping the Panthers in Charlotte and adding a roof to the current stadium could still allow Charlotte to host the big events.
Bank of America Stadium was built in 1996 and is on the top part of the list of oldest stadiums in the NFL. The team just spent close to $50 million in renovations to improve facilities for the team and to improve fan experience. The NFL loves having its teams in metropolitan areas and Charlotte is one of the top growing cities on the east coast. People are moving to Charlotte more than ever and jobs are coming as well. Uptown Charlotte is the most beneficial location to be the home of the Carolina Panthers.
What are your thoughts on this? Do you want the Panthers to stay in Charlotte or head down to Rock Hill? Please let us know how you're feeling in the comments below and please interact with us on social media.
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