Charlotte council considers $100-200m subsidy for stadium upgrades for MLS, or whole new MLS stadium, they won’t tell anyone exactly

Speaking of cities that don’t actually have MLS franchises yet but are hoping to, the Charlotte city council met in closed session on Monday night, according to WSOC-TV, to discuss spending $100 million to $200 million on upgrades to the Carolina Panthers‘ stadium to make it more attractive to soccer:

Sources said a dome is not under consideration at this point, but changes to Bank of America Stadium could include a middle entrance to the field for the soccer players and adding two locker rooms.

Okay, sure, those are things that a soccer team might like, but $100-200 million?!? The entire stadium only cost $248 million to build, which, sure, was in 1996 dollars, but still that seems a bit on the pricey side to add two locker rooms and a walkway.

Over at WBTV, meanwhile, the news is somewhat different, with Panthers owner (and wannabe MLB owner) David Tepper asking for $100-200 million for an entirely new stadium:

During the meeting, those presenting the pitch outlined a request for between roughly $100 million and $200 million in city funds for the facility, which would host a future soccer team and not also share a space with the Carolina Panthers.

Or maybe not!

Unlike the first two sources that WBTV spoke with, the third source clarified the city funds would be used to upfit Bank of America Stadium, where the Panthers currently play, to convert it to a soccer stadium.

Try to get your story straight before hitting Publish, guys!

Let’s see what the Charlotte Observer has to say:

Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper may ask the City of Charlotte for up to $215 million toward Bank of America Stadium renovations and other costs associated with acquiring a new Major League Soccer franchise.

Not actually helping to clarify things! Also, $215 million is not in the $100-200 million range!

Assuming this is actually stadium upgrades and not a new stadium, WSOC-TV reporter Joe Bruno added this on Twitter:

The entire Charlotte city council and the city’s mayor are all up for election in November, so we’re looking here at a $100-million-plus subsidy proposal being discussed by the council in secret, then voted on just weeks before the lame duck officials leave office. I for one applaud Charlotte city officials for knowing how to get things done, without all this mucking about with messy democracy.


6 comments on “Charlotte council considers $100-200m subsidy for stadium upgrades for MLS, or whole new MLS stadium, they won’t tell anyone exactly

  1. That’s how it worked in Phoenix. Get those subsidies on the books before the new mayor and council come in a screw up the game.

  2. Whenever it is we do reform our government (100 years from now?), stuff like this needs to be made recindable and/or illegal.

    The scope for prosecuting former politicians and assigning them liability needs to be massively increased. Will that create a cooling effect on who wants to be in office? Sure. It will also stop this garbage.

    • This kind of thing actually is illegal (or at least actionable) but the concept of fiduciary duty is enforced far less often than it oughta be. And less likely to be enforced as the size of the organization increases. The Directors of my community’s HOA are much more likely to get in trouble for inappropriately spending $1,000 than a corporation’s Board would be for unnecessarily throwing $10M at a CEO or a city for giving $100M to a business that most definitely doesn’t need it.

    • My main worry with your idea would be that it might be abused by politicians to persecute political rivals.