The good news is that the Panthers and the City of Charlotte have worked out a revised deal to upgrade the team’s stadium. The bad news is that, instead of a 15-year commitment in exchange for public funds, the team will agree to stay for only six years.
According to the Associated Press, the new plan reflects a reduced public contribution to $87 million, due to the refusal of the North Carolina legislature to increase the local prepared food and beverage tax, or to provide any state funds.
The deal reportedly contains a clause that makes it, as a practical matter, a 10-year commitment. The team, however, could leave after six years “without many difficulties.”
A vote by the City Council to approve the deal is expected on Monday.
Owner Jerry Richardson doesn’t plan to move the team. But the 76-year-old owner who received a heart transplant in 2009 has directed the team to be sold within two years after his passing. The next owner could decide to relocate the team, and the under the revised deal it could happen sooner than previously believed.