Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper is currently preparing to renovate his stadium to be more accommodating for Major League Soccer with the help of $110 million in city funds, before which his predecessor as owner got $87.5 million in public funds for upgrades in 2013 — all for a building that Tepper owns and collects 100% of revenues from. So naturally the billionaire owner’s argument is that all these renovations have resulted in a stadium that really oughta be torn down any year now:
“As far as a new stadium, this thing is whatever it is, seven years or 10 years — you have to talk about this stuff at some point. And this stadium is old in the NFL and at some point, we’re going to have to do something major — maintenance (cost) goes up every year.”
It’s true, it does! You know what else has high maintenance costs? An even newer, more lavish stadium! Also, maintenance costs tend to be in the millions of dollars are year, and a new stadium would cost in the billions, so taking on that kind of construction cost just to save on maintenance would be like tearing down your house and building a new one because the carpeting is getting old. Unless, of course, you’re expecting to get someone else to pay for the new house — and own it and pay property taxes on it, and give you free rent — in which case it makes total sense.
Tepper has rumbled about the need for a new stadium before, of course, but that wasn’t while he was in the midst of negotiating publicly funded renovations to the stadium he apparently thinks is ready for the wrecking ball. This page really could use a nice cover image, don’t you think?