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Panthers Hope To Accelerate Bank Of America Stadium Renovation Plans
Published April 30, 2013
AS GOOD AS IT GETS: Several Charlotte City Council members are saying the deal with the Panthers likely was the best deal the city could have reached. The city will pay the team $87.5M toward the renovations, with the club chipping in $37.5M. Charlotte City Council member Andy Dulin said, “I would have preferred no deal and let the Panthers cover it. That wasn’t going to happen. ... Regardless of whether you like it or not, and most of the folks that support me don’t like it, this is a good deal for Charlotte.” Dulin noted the Panthers currently “are the only NFL team out of 32 that has no tether, no connection to the city at all because they own the stadium.” However, included in the team's deal with the city is now a six-year hard tether. City Council member Michael Barnes noted the city is “not increasing taxes” as part of the pact. The Charlotte Business Journal’s Spanberg said since the state of North Carolina “provided no help, this was the best option.” Spanberg: “The Panthers were trying to get away from paying property taxes. They wanted a parking deck built. So I think city negotiators at least pushed back a little bit in a situation where they really didn’t have much leverage” (“Flashpoint,” WCNC-NBC, 4/28).
WHERE'S THE BEEF? In Charlotte, Tom Sorensen wrote fans complaining about the Panthers deal were either "quiet or not present” at the team's free NFL Draft Party on Saturday. The fans in attendance were "upbeat and optimistic" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 4/28).