Panthers now want $125m in restaurant tax money to redo stadium

And if you’re wondering if demanding public money to renovate privately built NFL stadiums that aren’t even all that old is the official flavor of the month: Yes, yes, it is.

The Carolina Panthers asked the Charlotte City Council in closed session late Monday for $125 million to help pay for renovating Bank of America Stadium, according to two sources…

To pay for the renovations, council members discussed Monday increasing Mecklenburg County’s tax on prepared food and beverages by a penny. That would bring the restaurant/bar tax to 2 percent, said three sources, who asked to remain unnamed because of the sensitivity of the negotiations.

That’s up from the $80 million in public money Panthers owner Jerry Richardson was rumored to be asking for five months ago, if you’re scoring at home.

There’s actually a bit of confusion in the Charlotte Observer article cited above, as it goes on to say that the current 1% restaurant tax raises $24 million a year, so presumably adding another 1% would add an additional $24 million a year. (Unless Charlotte residents are expected to balk at paying an extra 1% on their checks and would give up eating out en masse.) That’s enough to pay off nearly $400 million in stadium renovation costs, so either 1) there would be money left over from the restaurant tax hike, 2) the Panthers are asking for more than $125 million, 3) the tax would sunset more quickly than the stadium bonds, or 4) somebody got their math wrong.

The Observer also couldn’t resist tacking on this final paragraph, out of the blue:

Los Angeles is trying to lure at least one NFL team to play in a new stadium.

Sadly, they left out the sound effect link.


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