Owner announces Panthers not moving to L.A., setting off “Are Panthers moving to L.A.?” headlines

It’s been almost two months since the Carolina Panthers hinted at wanting public subsidies to upgrade their privately built stadium, so you know what that means it’s time for: anonymously sourced rumors that the team is going to move to Los Angeles!

High-powered California political officials have been courting Carolina owner Jerry Richardson in the hopes of bringing the Panthers to Los Angeles with no luck to date, said one source familiar with the discussions.

Richardson has been polite and steadfast that he is committed to Charlotte and is not moving the Panthers.

The only scenario in which he would listen would be if Charlotte balked at helping him with some of the stadium renovations the Panthers have been seeking, the source said.

Richardson doubled down on the non-threat threat on Sunday, saying, “It has always been my desire that the Carolinas would be the home of our Panthers,” which, you know.

As the L.A. Times’ Sam Farmer notes, this is common practice for sports team owners:

This is a telegraphed pass. The way for teams to fire a shot over the bow of their home cities is to bring up L.A. – or have it brought up for them. It’s no accident that in his statement Richardson doesn’t completely rule out the possibility of leaving. He leaves that door unlocked, by simply saying that it’s his desire to stay.

Last week, North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis expressed his willingness to consider putting tax money into Panthers stadium upgrades, and local officials are already arguing about whether only Charlotte taxpayers should be taxed to pay for it, or whether those in surrounding counties should be, too. In other words, all is proceeding right according to schedule. I’d set the over/under for Roger Goodell to fly into town and give his boilerplate “If you want to keep your team, you’d better provide some stadium money” speech at, oh, April 2014?


7 comments on “Owner announces Panthers not moving to L.A., setting off “Are Panthers moving to L.A.?” headlines

  1. Of all the silly stadium rumors from the last few years, this one is the most ridiculous. Both for the transparency (Richardson would only consider if he doesn’t get public money, which, oh by the way, he’s after) and the idea that Richardson, generally one of the most locally revered owners around, would spend his last decade or so alive as a reviled Modell or Bud Adams-type all over getting his presently really-good stadium a few extra bells and whistles. Dumbest of all is the idea that just because the team owns their own stadium that they’d be likely to leave. If anything it makes them that much more likely to stay, since, y’know, the owner that gets stuck with a completely useless , tenantless stadium is Richardson himself. We know the models from LA will require either giving up a significant portion of the team, or heavily funding the stadium yourself, so yeah, I don’t see Jerry spending a billion dollars to build in LA and shutting the doors at BoA Stadium. Call his bluff Charlotte, please.

  2. Agreed Joe, the best security you can have against relocation is the team ownership group also owning the stadium they play in. I’d love to be a fly on the wall during one of the annual meetings amongst owners as they get coached on the latest stadium extortion strategies and swap stories over 100 year old scotch.

  3. On a day when Jeffrey Loria sprouted horns and gave South Florida the double barreled salute, your top story is about… the Panthers?

    I mean, this is the guy who looks around at all of the other stadium boondoggles and says “Meh. That’s nothing. Watch this. First, I’ll steal a team. Then I’ll win a World Series. Then I’ll run it on a shoestring and cry poor until I convince Miami (where they couldn’t care less about baseball) to build me a stadium in a bad area in the middle of nowhere, and I’ll make them tear down the Orange Bowl in the process. Then I will pretend to spend wildly for a few months before dumping every single contract, leaving the team with AAA talent until I dump the franchise for a massive profit. Beat that, suckers!”

    Again… the Panthers? How dare you, good sir… How. Dare. You.

  4. The real agenda is in the URL of the original article: ESPN is manufacturing a story where none exists. It’s no different from neocons or the US government planting pro-war propaganda.

  5. The NFL’s dog and pony show moves to Charlotte after a successful engagement in Minneapolis, where taxpayers were extorted with such brilliance that NFL owners were toasting the franchise and themselves for months. When the Goodell / Rooney clown show came to town to scare the bejeebus out of rubes, a.k.a. legislators, the deal was done, and Zygmunt Wilf laughed all the way to the bank at how easy it was to get the public to hand him a bonanza with a little old fashioned con artistry.

    By the end the fans were sure the team was in imminent danger of LEAVING FOR LOS ANGELES, OMFG! And despite the fact that no one has put a shovel in the ground and turned over one ounce of dirt in L.A. in the 18 years since the NFL left, the suckers swallowed the bait hook, line and sinker, just like they always do.

    So congratulations Charlotte – you’re next! I hope you get a good circus like the folks in Minneapolis got. Hold out for no less than Goodell, Rooney, a car full of clowns who just keep piling out to your amazement and doing goofy things (we call them “state legislators” or “governor”), and maybe Mike Florio sitting at a makeshift news desk in the rain outside the state capitol, solemnly intoning about how football, PRECIOUS NFL FOOTBALL, could leave Charlotte forever, rendering the once proud metropolis a barren wasteland devoid of guys with painted faces, huge flabby bare abdomens, funny foam hats, and 9 beers in their belly at 1:00 p.m. on a Sunday afternoon.

    The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was making people think the NFL wants to be in Los Angeles. Why, a big shiny stadium is just about to be built there every year for the last couple decades or so!