New Panthers owner: There are two Carolinas, you catch my drift?

With the Charlotte Panthers being sold to hedge-fund billionaire David Tepper for $2.2 billion — and at purchase prices like these, you can sort of understand why NFL owners are freaking out about anything that might cause them to lose fans, even if the reaction might cause them to lose other fans — there’s been lots of talk about how Tepper could shake down his new home city for stadium cash, including a step-by-step manual in the Charlotte Observer. But now we’ve entered full-on move-threat-by-proxy mode; take it away, Associated Press:

The new owner of the Carolina Panthers is committed to keeping the team in the Carolinas.

And Charlotte is his clearly his first choice.

But David Tepper left a bit of wiggle room on his first day as owner of the team…

“What’s the name of the team? Carolina Panthers. It’s going to be the Carolina Panthers,” Tepper said. “And that means this team has to have some kind of presence in the Carolinas and last time I saw, how many are there? That’s right, there’s two of them.”

Oh, snap, Tepper’s going to move the Panthers to South Carolina! Except, you know, he’s probably not, but if hinting he’s going to move the team just across the state line (Charlotte is right on North Carolina’s southern border, which is likely one of many things you may not know about Charlotte) helps shake loose some stadium cash from Carolina the North, why, he’d be dodging his fiduciary responsibility to himself not to mention the other Carolina, now wouldn’t he?

Anyway, Tepper went out of his way not to say much of anything else about a new or renovated stadium, which either means he’s still getting his feet wet, or has seen enough as part-owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers to know that it’s best to let the sports media carry your water for you. Where he goes next with this is anyone’s guess, but you’ve gotta think waking up the first morning as owner of a $2.2 billion asset and seeing headlines like “NFL owners officially approve sale of Panthers, but will team stay in Charlotte?” has to warm the heart of any red-blooded money grubber.

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9 comments on “New Panthers owner: There are two Carolinas, you catch my drift?

  1. The Panthers’ stadium sits on some really valuable real estate in rapidly-growing center city Charlotte, and building a new stadium just across the border in South Carolina would free up that land for more valuable uses. So if South Carolina wants to throw a bunch of money at the Panthers to build a stadium there, that would literally be the best arrangement possible for Charlotte, honestly.

  2. Let the SC politicians throw money at the Panthers thinking it will be a boom in their state. Not learning from East Rutherford, Landover, Arlington or Santa Clara.

  3. The Panther’s already have a stake in both Carolinas. Their training camp is based in Spartanburg, SC & the stadium in Charlotte. Besides, there isn’t a city in South Carolina posed to host a professional NFL team.

  4. @Wendy Brown, but do you have to have a city? I think you could put NFL team in the middle of nowhere and people would travel to it. It’s just 8 times a year.

    But what’s wrong with their current stadium?

    1. I believe there would a temporary housing issue; not enough hotels in rural areas. Greenville easily sells out their hotel capacity on a busy convention week or Charleston maybe perhaps? I grew up an hour outside of Charlotte near Greenville so I am very familiar with the area. Besides lack of stadium ticket sales could lead to a TV blackout. Moving to the sticks isn’t worth that risk.

      Nothing is wrong with current stadium, they just finished at 47 million dollar renovation in 2017.

      1. But this isn’t about “rural areas”, it would only require moving to the suburbs. The team can move ten miles from downtown Charlotte and be in South Carolina.

      2. The NFL hasn’t had tv blackouts since 2015 when they suspended the practice. With the way things are going for them lately with the new anthem policy and all I can’t ever see them bringing it back. That would simply lead to more people not watching the games and resulting in less money for the league and owners.

  5. Sorry, after I read “hedge fund billionaire” I lost interest. Give him everything he wants, tell him to take a hike, I just don’t care today.

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