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Charlotte Council approves plan to give Panthers $125 million

Dave Gettleman, Ron Rivera, Danny Morrison, Jerry Richardson AP

The Panthers have not soiled their hands by shaking down the city of Charlotte for money to upgrade their stadium.

But they are certainly willing to catch whatever might be generously thrown at them, and the Charlotte City Council voted 7-2 last night to endorse a proposal to give the team $125 million.

The vote came during a closed session, and neither city officials nor anyone from the team commented on the proceedings, according to Steve Harrison of the Charlotte Observer.

Panthers owner Jerry Richardson and team president Danny Morrison made a presentation to the Council at last night’s meeting, at which police guarded the door.

Both Richardson and Morrison (the two quiet guys pictured here, next to coach Ron Rivera) left today’s press conference to introduce new general manager Dave Gettleman without taking questions, with a team spokesman referring all inquiries back to the city.

The plan would call for a tax on prepared food and beverages to be increased from 1 percent to 2 percent, and would have to  be approved by North Carolina’s General Assembly and governor Pat McCrory (a former Charlotte mayor).

The Panthers are clearly sensitive toward the perception of taking a public handout, even though Richardson privately financed Bank of America largely through the sale of PSLs. But city officials are also sensitive toward anything resembling not appeasing the local NFL team, apparently scared by the specter of Los Angeles rumors.

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16 Responses to “Charlotte Council approves plan to give Panthers $125 million”
  1. larrybrown43 says: Jan 15, 2013 3:14 PM

    Good to see all the rich and powerful, less government guys, manipulating for handouts when it benefits them.

  2. ghlatty says: Jan 15, 2013 3:19 PM

    Lots of teams get incentives not to move and that’s fine, but what necessitates a closed door hearing?? I imagine they were trying to avoid the public spectacle that Minnesota went through last year. But since the state legislature has to approve the tax hike, the Charlotte council will probably have some state wide ‘splainin to do.

  3. pantherfan550 says: Jan 15, 2013 3:20 PM

    This is good to see. A small price to pay for stadium improvements and the security of the team staying here for the foreseeable future. Even though I doubt they would have ever seriously left for L.A.

  4. crosberries says: Jan 15, 2013 3:24 PM

    What a great idea! Lets use taxpayer money so the owners of the panthers can become richer. Glad they have everything figured out down there like what they pay teachers for a salary.

  5. evilmajortom says: Jan 15, 2013 3:26 PM

    That’s it. I’m changing my stance on public financing from yay to nay.

  6. kelsey412 says: Jan 15, 2013 3:32 PM

    Just insane. This country is almost broke. People getting tax to death. When will it end. Not even a loan? Just giving them the money. At last glance theNFL is a multi billion industry. This must stop. Wake up or r kids will not have a life to look forward to

  7. jbcommonsense says: Jan 15, 2013 3:33 PM

    How does Charlotte’s offer to kick in $125 million compare with the St. Lois group ”Civic Progress’s” offer to the Rams?

  8. rcali says: Jan 15, 2013 3:44 PM

    So there are only 2 people on the city council who were not paid off? Good for them.

    How Richardson and Morrison can sleep at night is beyond me.

  9. firstvictory says: Jan 15, 2013 4:15 PM

    @crosberries

    have you ever been to Charlotte or left your hometown for that matter? Charlotte is a net contributor to the state’s economy and the state is one of the few net contributors to the national economy. it’s cheaper to live here, and salaries reflect that. Charlotte and Raleigh are two of nation’s top 5 fastest growing metro areas. i’d say we have something figured out “down here.”

    enjoy your cold winter.

  10. secretomen00 says: Jan 15, 2013 4:20 PM

    i thought republicans believe in limited gov’t and handouts.

  11. MyTeamsAllStink says: Jan 15, 2013 4:29 PM

    What are we doing wrong?

    The Maloofs

  12. cags777 says: Jan 15, 2013 4:31 PM

    If you’re going to vote on something like this, make these meetings open to the public. There is no excuse for this vote to be in a closed door session.

  13. jgedgar70 says: Jan 15, 2013 4:35 PM

    ghlatty says:
    Jan 15, 2013 3:19 PM
    Lots of teams get incentives not to move and that’s fine, but what necessitates a closed door hearing?? I imagine they were trying to avoid the public spectacle that Minnesota went through last year. But since the state legislature has to approve the tax hike, the Charlotte council will probably have some state wide ‘splainin to do.
    _____
    This is normal. A group wanting tax money has a private meeting with city council, and if they like your idea, it gets put on an upcoming council meeting agenda, which is public and allows anyone who wishes to sign up in advance and make comments on the issue. I’m sure there will be plenty of debate on this one. The state legislature probably won’t debate it very much, since it’s a tax that is only in 1 municipality and requires no financial committment from state funds. I suspect the Panthers will get the money.

  14. britishraven says: Jan 15, 2013 5:56 PM

    In the UK, if a team wants a new stadium, it pays for everything and the council/government make them improve the surrounding infrastructure. Sure, the council might give them some land and contribute a bit (if it’s for the benefit of local schools etc) but it’s on the condition that they do things like improve railway stations, build new roads, build new sports fields etc. I cannot believe that billionaires are annually fleecing the US public for hundreds of millions of dollars so that they can build a new box for them and their buddies.

  15. thesportsguy52 says: Jan 15, 2013 6:09 PM

    Baltimore STILL deserved a team between them AND Jacksonville-by far. And maybe Houston, but I won’t go there. I remember when Tagliabue took Jerry Richardson’s advice and agreed “maybe Baltimore should just build some museums instead.” 5 years later we have our ring and the best playoff win percentage in NFL history. How are CAR and JAX doin lately?

  16. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Jan 18, 2013 12:34 PM

    Richardson has played the move to L.A. card for everything he can get out of that poor city while serving up a losing team.

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