Nearly every man, woman, and child in North Carolina hates Panthers subsidies

So it turns out the governor of North Carolina isn’t the only one opposed to using state funds for Carolina Panthers stadium renovations:

A new Elon University Poll found that 88 percent of North Carolinians oppose using state money for renovating Bank of America Stadium…

“Although arguments have been made that the 17-year-old stadium has helped bring in revenue to the local and state economy, 88 percent opposed a state subsidy for the renovations, a view that held steady regardless of race, gender, age or party identification,” according to a release by the pollsters.

It’s not uncommon for polls to run handily against stadium subsidies, but 88% is a lot. And note that this was before the governor came out and said the state can’t afford it, and before the Los Angeles move threat got even less believable.

Still no public response from Panthers owner Jerry Richardson to the rejection of state funds, meanwhile. (Team president Danny Morrison did issue a statement: “We have met with state officials multiple times. They have always been supportive of our efforts and indicated the importance of the Panthers to both the State and Charlotte. We are hopeful that ultimately these assurances translate into support for the team.” Which translates, roughly, as: “We’re going to keep on lobbying and hope no doesn’t mean no.”) An association of Charlotte restaurants did issue a letter saying they were willing to “be part of the discussion of an additional food and beverage tax, if necessary,” but given that the state legislature looks to have pretty much nixed that idea, it doesn’t much matter.

In short, it looks like back-to-the-drawing board time. And while it’s nice to imagine Richardson saying, “Oh, well, if the taxpayers won’t pay for it, might as well pay for it on our own,” I’m guessing that far more likely is “Let’s wait a year for the next legislative session and see if we can come up with a new line of attack.”

3 comments on “Nearly every man, woman, and child in North Carolina hates Panthers subsidies

  1. The next year is an election year. The Democrats have ruled the General Assembly for over a hundred years until recently. I say this as a marginal Republican, I suspect there’s going to be a massive push to win either house of the General Assembly and then this gets revisited. I oppose projects this big, especially when Richardson got his big break and his TV revenue projections over 10 years alone say he can do this himself.

    The real story is that the State has the right to decide what taxes local governments can and cannot have. They can let Charlotte raise taxes to grow but not help Asheville build an arts center that very clearly the people WANT. This is a plan of social engineering to force people to bigger cities. The way the law SHOULD state is that any city can have almost any tax they want, but any bond must be paid off in FIVE years. If it’s that important, pay it off quickly. This would promote a debt-free mentality in government. Yeah, a radical thought.

    Projects like the dome arena project in Asheville I am working on (that surprise surprise the State doesn’t want) are far more honorable as they are primarily disaster shelters (the concrete dome can resist tornadoes and hurricanes, proven true in Birmingham), and are far less costly ( But they don’t get politicans names in the paper. Richardson is counting on this and will try to bully an even bigger project for election time.

    If the Panthers aren’t giving up neither should anyone else.

  2. If Asheville really wants the things that Dennis claims it does, why haven’t private investors stepped forward?

  3. They always hate us at the start. But they love us once we clean them out them out and make them our patsies. 1-877-STADIUM-CASH NOW!