SBD/July 24, 2014/Facilities

NFL Panthers Rule Out Public Cash For Future Bank Of America Stadium Renovations

New HD videoboards are among the major improvements at BofA Stadium
The NFL Panthers have "finished their first round of renovations at Bank of America Stadium, largely paid for with tax dollars," and the team has "ruled out asking for more money," according to Ely Portillo of the CHARLOTTE OBSERVER. The Charlotte City Council gave the team $87.5M last year in an agreement that will keep the Panthers in Charlotte "for at least six years." If the city "decides to pay" an additional $50M, the Panthers could "consider adding another four years to their agreement to stay put." Charlotte Deputy City Manager Ron Kimble said that the $50M possibility was "put in the original plan to leave room for future negotiations." The deadline for "deciding whether to give the Panthers more money" is Aug. 1, 2015, but officials said that the team and the city could "negotiate past then." The money could "come from the city, state, county or any combination of public funds." Charlotte Mayor Pro Tem Michael Barnes said, "Including that clause in the contract was simply a placeholder to keep the door open for future discussion. Our ability to fund additional improvements there is fairly limited" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 7/24).

BIRDS OF A FEATHER: In Minneapolis, Rochelle Olson reports the Vikings "won’t be spending" an extra $1.1M to "protect migrating birds from crashing into the team’s new stadium." The Vikings and the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority yesterday "confirmed that decision after the Minnesota Audubon Society sent out an alarm saying the structure’s 200,000 square feet of glass could be a 'death trap' for birds traveling in the Mississippi River corridor." The Vikings said that they are "working with Audubon on lighting design and procedures but can’t afford the added cost of special glass" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 7/24).
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