The Carolina Panthers are working on a plan to refurbish 16-year-old Bank of America Stadium, which will likely include tens of millions of dollars for new video boards, escalators to the upper bowl and less glamorous fixes like new HVAC systems.
And while the Panthers owners aren’t saying who’d be asked to pay for these improvements, local elected officials are already offering up taxpayer cash:
Democratic City Council member James Mitchell, who chairs the economic development committee, said he supports helping the Panthers financially.
“We have established a model – whether it’s the Bobcats or the Knights – that we will invest or participate in some way,” Mitchell said. “I won’t shy away from that.”
And Mayor Anthony Foxx added in a letter to Panthers owner Jerry Richardson: “I cannot unilaterally commit resources but I do feel we have an interest in the long-term presence and success of the Carolina Panthers franchise you have built.”
The Charlotte Observer speculates that the city could be asked to pay for as much as $80 million of a $250 million renovation, which sounds a little steep when you consider that it only cost $250 million to build the thing in the first place. And that was $250 million in entirely private money; the city put up only $60 million in land and infrastructure originally. But apparently Richardson has Charlotte officials looking to make up for lost time now. Not bad work in only two years of whining.