Source: Panthers, Charlotte Have Site In Mind For MLS Team HQ
Officials from the Charlotte city government and NFL Panthers are "exploring the possibility of locating an expansion" MLS team's HQ and training center at the "city-owned Eastland Mall site," according to a source cited by Erik Spanberg of the CHARLOTTE BUSINESS JOURNAL. The potential deal would involve $100M of "taxpayer money to help pay for the team headquarters," as well as "improvements at the Panthers' privately owned NFL stadium uptown." The soccer HQ and training facility would "occupy about 20 acres of the city-owned 69-acre Eastland property." An MLS spokesperson said that the league had "no update" on Panthers Owner David Tepper's bid for an expansion team. Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles said, "I can't confirm there are negotiations. Dave Tepper is interested in (bringing) soccer here and he wants to activate the (NFL) stadium so I would expect we would have a conversation about a number of things (if he succeeds)." Charlotte City Council member Dimple Ajmera said that she "expects to vote on some form of an MLS public-private proposal before the next council is sworn in on Dec. 2." The next MLS board meeting is Dec. 5 in N.Y. (BIZJOURNALS.com, 10/16).