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Charlotte City Council Close To Finalizing Deal To Keep Panthers Until '27
Published February 11, 2013
INVESTMENT PLAN: In Charlotte, Erik Spanberg noted a total of $302.5M would be invested in the team -- which includes payments from the city, state and team -- and $250M of that total would be dedicated to stadium upgrades. The Panthers' share would be $96.25M. Sources said that the "state could help the team in other ways, perhaps through incentives or other inducements." One clause in the city contract "gives the city the option to buy the stadium from the Panthers if the franchise relocated in the five years following the 15-year commitment." Shifting the "burden of game-day traffic control expenses would remove a longstanding source of frustration for the Panthers." A Panthers spokesperson said that the team "would comment on the stadium issue next week." Foxx said that Richardson was "emotional" when he met with Foxx and the City Council on Friday (BIZJOURNALS.com, 2/8).
BEHIND CLOSED DOORS: An OBSERVER editorial was written under the header, "Unnecessary Secrecy Cloaks Panthers Deal." It is "distressing the city has been so secretive and plans to raise taxes more than required." The Panthers are a "treasure for Charlotte." They create "jobs and ignite economic activity while creating an undeniable cachet." The $125M they "sought from the city may feel like blackmail but is much smaller than what other cities are paying to keep their NFL teams happy." Foxx, Richardson and the council "shouldn’t be so scared of the public who would benefit, and who would foot the bill" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 2/9). In Charlotte, Mark Washburn sarcastically wrote, "We did it!" Washburn: "We did it behind closed doors so the public would be spared the boredom of listening to the facts. ... We did it without ever learning what the money is going to go for. An escalator and a scoreboard?" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 2/10).