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SBD/March 8, 2013/Franchises
NFL Panthers Dispute Profitability Numbers In Leaked Documents
Published March 8, 2013
ON THE SURFACE: Univ. of Oregon business professor Dennis Howard said, "These franchises are a license to print money. This team is pretty damn healthy." Howard estimated that under the terms of the league’s TV deal, the Panthers “could bring in an additional $60-$65 million in annual TV revenue alone.” DEADSPIN’s Tommy Craggs in the original report noted the Panthers last fall “began drawing up plans for renovating Bank of America Stadium.” The Panthers “figured renovations would cost $300 million, $200 million of which, they'd hoped, would come out of the public till.” The city of Charlotte “has been eager to help, to the tune of $144 million.” But the state of North Carolina “thus far has been less accommodating, and with good reason.” Howard in an e-mail wrote, "Based on the team's financial condition, there is absolutely no justification for such a large public subsidy" (DEADSPIN.com, 3/7).
ON THE FLIP SIDE: In Charlotte, Tom Sorensen writes the revelation “might be business as usual in the NFL,” but fans “don't know how much other teams make.” In Panthers Owner Jerry Richardson’s “defense, he's entitled to make money.” He had “hoped to invest $300 million and make middle-aged Bank of America Stadium, one of the NFL's best, less old,” with $200M “from the city and state, $100 million from the Panthers.” Although Charlotte's investment “makes sense economically, the pressure on Mayor Anthony Foxx and the city council to assess their commitment will be enormous.” It is “not about truth.” It is about the “appearance of truth.” Sorensen: “How do the Panthers ask people who on a big day might have $112 in their wallet to support a team that, in a two year span, allegedly made $112 million?” (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 3/8).