NFL Panthers Request $125M From Charlotte Council For Stadium Renovation
The NFL Panthers last night asked the Charlotte City Council in a closed session for $125M to "help pay for renovating Bank of America Stadium," according to sources cited by Steve Harrison in a front-page piece for the CHARLOTTE OBSERVER. The team has been working on a "long-term renovation plan for the 17-year-old stadium." To pay for the renovations, council members discussed "increasing Mecklenburg County’s tax on prepared food and beverages by a penny." Sources said that the increase would "bring the restaurant/bar tax to 2 percent." Panthers Owner Jerry Richardson and President Danny Morrison "attended the meeting," which ended just after 11:00pm ET. The team has given "only a few details of what a renovation could entail." However, the team last fall said that Richardson wants to "add escalators to make it easier for fans to reach the upper bowl." Additionally, the team wants to "improve its video boards." The money for the Panthers would "reportedly not come from the city’s general fund, which is mostly paid for with property taxes." Some council members had "believed that money for the Panthers could come from an increase in the county’s hotel/motel occupancy tax." But sources said that yesterday's closed session meeting "focused on the prepared food and beverage tax" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 1/15). In Charlotte, Erik Spanberg noted the Panthers spent "much of the past year crafting a 10-year stadium master plan" for the renovation (BIZJOURNALS.com, 1/14).