Panthers' talk about a new stadium continues troubling trend

BofAstadium.jpgOne of the things that Florio Jr. and I enjoy about driving down I-77 through Charlotte is that the path provides a great look at Bank of America Stadium, where the Panthers play their home games.  The stadium, which still looks and feels new, opened in 1996.

And the Panthers already are talking openly about possibly building a new one.

“You would have to think we’re in the middle of a normal NFL stadium
,” team president Danny Morrison recently told Steve Harrison of the Charlotte Observer.  “The two options you would have somewhere down the line, in
10 or 15 years, would be a major renovation or something new.”

We’re not disputing the duration of the “normal NFL stadium cycle,” but we still have a hard time understanding why the “normal NFL stadium cycle” extends by only 30 years.  With ten home games per year, the place ends up being used for football only 300 times before being razed.

Meanwhile, most people spend 350 days and nights in their homes per year, and houses aren’t demolished and rebuilt on an annual basis.

We know that the comparison is a bit of a stretch, but how can it be generally accepted that, for example, the $1.6 billion venue that opened seven days ago in New Jersey will need to be replaced after only 30 seasons of football?

Currently, the pressure seems to be coming not from the condition of the buildings but the time-honored notion of keeping up with the Joneses. 

As in the Jerry Joneses.

Harrison’s article suggests that the new stadiums in Dallas and New York/Jersey have prompted other teams to begin coveting emerald palaces of their own, a mentality that could spark a never-ending cycle of stadium construction that continues indefinitely into the future, with the Cowboys and Jets/Giants eventually realizing that they now need new stadiums, too.

The NFL’s decision to stage an upcoming Super Bowl in the new Meadowlands Stadium will serve only to expand the number of cities in which an “if you build it, they will come” mentality emerges regarding the possibility of luring the biggest event in the American sports universe.  And even without the potential for hosting a Super Bowl, the revenues that can be generated by the new stadiums will justify their pursuit.

Of course, those huge revenues can’t be realized in every city.  And that will serve only to place more pressure on the franchises that currently are struggling to fill up on a regular basis the stadiums in which they now play.  As the population and economic conditions shift and change, some cities simply will become not suited to house an NFL team, because NFL teams ultimately won’t be able to survive and thrive without the kind of stadium that won’t be profitable without enough people willing to show up and plunk down plenty of money to spend 10 afternoons or evenings per year there.

42 responses to “Panthers' talk about a new stadium continues troubling trend

  1. Its silly when you consider the bailout affected Bank of America (a major revenue source in Carolina, since it was headquartered there). Stadium talk…before a lockout? Yeah, N.Y. got one but its a major city thats already dropped 2 bil on the Jets-Giants, mets and yankee stadiums.

  2. Wonder when Dan Snyder Will either tear down Fedex feild and re build or Go back to DOWNTOWN DC and build a new one?

  3. The league is already priced out of the market of the average American. Going to games at the new fancy stadiums is like going to watch baseball or golf. People have to be told when to cheer and when to be quiet via the giant video screens; otherwise it is quiet.
    It’s sad.

  4. The life cycle was 30 years for places like Riverfront and Three Rivers that were horribly outdated. I have been to the stadium in Charlotte and it seems in line with other modern stadiums.

  5. If you can’t make it there, you can’t make it anywhere…
    New York having trouble selling their PSLs. Makes it kinda hard to pay off the new stadiums, don’t you think? So much for your insightful “analysis.”

  6. Teams are going to have to come to terms that not every city will host a Super Bowl even with a magnificent new stadium.
    Charlotte does have the infrastructure to support such an event but is it worth the funds to capture SB revenue every 7-10 years? If it does, when then go for it. But don’t ask the tax payers to fund the lions share of the cost.

  7. If the Panthers think they need a new stadium then they should build it, but if you can’t fill up the old one than what in the world makes you think they can fill up a new one! If they can get enough suckers….I mean fans to pay for the PSL’s to build it then this town has more well heeled morons than I thought. As a former season ticket holder that cashed out just in time I say GO FOR IT. Just do it WITHOUT holding your hand out for tax dollars. I have just one question. Will a new stadium create a winning team? History say’s NOT and nine dollar beers won’t numb the pain of being a fan.

  8. I can agree with the Panthers talking stadium less than 15 years into their building being a little silly, but Stadiums built in the 70s are obsolete in this market and world and any argument to the contrary is plain silly.
    With technological advances, desires for better team facilities, luxury boxes, etc., it makes all the sense in the world for teams to be looking for new venues when there current home was built in a completely different era.
    Giants Stadium last almost 35 years. Longer than Foxboro. They spent the same amount of time there that the Redskins did at RFK.
    10-15 years may be a problem. 30-35 simply isn’t. It’s not about wear and tear. It’s about necessary upgrades.

  9. The last time a pro team in Charlotte tried to extort the locals for a facility they tiold them to take a hike. Right George Shin?
    Lets hope that they tell another billionaire NFL owner that if YOU want a new stadium then YOU pay for it.
    One only has to realize that the most hallowed ground in pro football-the frozen tundra of Green Bay_has been in the same place for over 50 years. First as City Stadium and now as Lambeau Field.

  10. Florio your hurting the working men and women that construct these stadiums every thirty years. Please don’t bring this to the attention of the penny pinching owners. Instead allow them to let their cash trickle down to the working class. If you don’t your the evil man I always thought/seriously started to believe/confirmed/now hope your not but probably still are. Instead point to these stadiums as you drive by them with jr and tell him if his career in journalism doesn’t pan out as well as daddy’s their will always be a job waiting for him in construction, thanks to the Joneseseseses!

  11. Yeah right! Like “old” Giants Stadium was old!
    c/p NY POST Phil Mushnick yesterday
    “Some of the funniest Internet messages ever posted are fresh ones, from desperate Jets and Giants PSL/ticket holders. One poor fellow was willing to sell $2,800 worth of Jet preseason games — that’s two tickets to two games — for a mere $1,400. Still, at $350 per preseason game ticket — half price! — he had no takers. Imagine that.”

  12. “Team president Danny Morrison recently told Steve Harrison of the Charlotte Observer… ‘The two options you would have somewhere down the line, in 10 or 15 years, would be a major renovation or something new.'”
    Team president Danny Morrison is out of his friggin’ mind…

  13. “And even without the potential for hosting a Super Bowl, the revenues that can be generated by the new stadiums will justify their pursuit.”
    You write that as if they install a money fountain in the new stadiums. All that does is give the team a license to screw over the fans. So when they put that referendum on the ballot, the voters are effectively approving higher taxes that give them the right to pay more to go to football games.
    Totally insane. This bubble has to pop eventually, and when it does, there will be a small market team with a $1 billion stadium that they either take an operating loss on, or that they can’t fill. Watch.
    A smart small-market team would build a stadium completely self-financed for $250M, pocket a lot of TV money, field a competitive team, and charge reasonable prices. Oh, and buy up a lot of the nearby land to develop a lot of bars and restaurants.

  14. Yes, it makes sense…
    —to spend $thousands on seats
    —$hundreds on tickets
    —$tens on tailgating/concessions
    —hours of time — to get there & back
    …to watch lackluster, prima donna fools on TV, while packed like sardines.
    (I feel like I should do more…)

  15. The last time a pro team in Charlotte tried to extort the locals for a facility they tiold them to take a hike. Right George Shin?
    The voters actually told Shinn to take a hike.
    So he took his ball and went to play in New Orleans. Good riddens…. But the city council told the voters to take a hike and went ahead and built a new arena anyway, spending 265 million tax dollars while our teachers get laid off and our roads are crumbling. But hey we have the Bobcats! So all is well. I’m just gald I don’t have kids in the school system. Now, about all those potholes………

  16. Since some of these cities can’t begin to draw what they do in Dallas, NYC and the bigger markets it would be stupid beyond words to build stadiums the equivalent of those in those secondary and tertiary markets.
    Look at the Bucs and Jags. Can hardly come close to a sell out with half the number of seats they have at the bigger venues.

  17. “Giants Stadium last almost 35 years. Longer than Foxboro”
    @SBS0311 ,
    That’s a very bad comparison. Giants Stadium cost 78 million at the time and was state of the art. The old Foxboro, originally Schafer Stadium later Sullivan Stadium was built for 4 million and was about as minimalistic as it got.
    You could take that old stadium, turn it 90 degrees, put three of them side by side and stack them 2 high and it would have the footprint of the Gillette Stadium.

  18. I don’t think this has too much to do with football. Personally, I’d pay money to go watch a game even if they were playing at a sewage treatment plant. Now, granted, I might not be willing to pay as much, but the upkeep would be a lot lower. You don’t need to charge high ticket prices unless you have a fancy new stadium, and if the ticket prices are reasonable, people would watch a game anywhere, so it’s circular logic to say you need a new stadium for people to show up because they won’t pay high ticket prices to watch games in a crappy stadium.
    That being said, I’d assume other acts/shows/games may be more influenced by venue (like top flight bands may not want to play in an s-hole of a stadium), but for just football? Nah, should be fine.

  19. There is NOTHING good about driving on I-77 going through Charlotte, other than if there’s one small accident you’ll be able to spend lots of time looking at the stadium since traffic won’t move for hours.

  20. Is this a joke, right? As a couple others have mentioned, we’re not dealing with the cookie cutter stadiums from the 70s that needed to be leveled.
    No way the Panthers’ should be considering a new place.

  21. The path to a publicly funded stadium can be long and arduous. Begin planning now and it could be another 10 years before it is actually approved, funded and built. By then where they are playing now would be a quarter century old. So this doesn’t surprise me.
    However, given the time we live in and the fact that this recession is going to be an extensive one, it’s not really a good time to tell people you want to spend tax money on something like this while millions remain jobless and states all face budget defecits.
    Absolutely galling.

  22. Some of you need to read the article. No where did it say the Panthers are looking to build a new stadium now… They are thinking 10-15 years down the road. And given today’s current trend, that’s pretty accurate in terms of stadium lifecylces–which I too think is ridiculous. The Falcons have already been saying they want a new stadium for the last 2 years. No one seems to be pointing that out and it’s only a few years older than BofA Stadium.

  23. The difference between old Giant and New Giant Stadium is the old one was built by the State of New Jersey and had the fell of a State building
    The new one is state of the art slick and worthy of the biggest Sports market in the country.
    What does Charlotte need new for more room to sell wife beaters?
    more parking for John Deeres?
    For anyone to compare NC to NYC they must have spent their life in a chicken coop

  24. If you build the stadium correctly it can last a very long time.
    Lambeau Field and Arrowhead Stadium are the best examples.
    The longer stadiums last, the cheaper over time they are. Again nobody has been as smart about it as the Packers and the Chiefs.

  25. @tatum32
    You do realize BOA only has naming…not construction rights to the Panthers Stadium…right?
    Bailout Money wouldn’t go towards a new stadium because they have nothing to do with construction.
    Not to mention that BOA Stadiun was BOA before the Obama administration.
    But…hows Lord Glenn Beck doing?
    And to anyone else…the Panthers have been the most successful pro team of any sport to call their home Charlotte. To pretend that they don’t have the current/future fanbase, income, or support to invest in a new stadium would be ludicrous.
    Lastly, have any of you been to BOA Stadium?
    It’s the ugliest, driest, most bland, nothing-special-about-it-at-all stadium i’ve ever been to. Charlotte Knights semi-pro baseball stadium is more interesting and engaging. And this is coming from a Panthers season ticket holder.

  26. The Stadium is not in Dallas, dude, it’s in Arlington.
    If you’re going to cite New York/Jersey, then have your road go both ways please.

  27. By that thinking the NFL should eliminate 2/3 of the teams and just have mega teams with mega stadiums. Stupid thought. Just get it over with and put all games on PPV. That’s the direction we are heading anyway.

  28. If teams need new Stadiums to make more money, that’s fine with me, but don’t expect the tax payers to pay for it.
    Every team should have a Stadium fund that is taken out of the revenue stream, kept by the NFL. This should be worked into the next CBA.

  29. Take the best innovations from the current stadiums and build a state of the art 150,000+ capacity “super stadium” in las vegas and play all the superbowls there. Take the profits and distribute them between the retired players and the teams. Most of the reasoning for building a new stadium is trying to host a superbowl. Lambeau, Arrowhead, Soldier field, etc. work fine and those cities know they will not get a SB.

  30. Geez, read the article people. It doesn’t say the Panthers want to start building a new stadium today. It 10-15 years from now. 15 years and the current stadium is 30 years old. It will most likely be out of date by then. Most have been replaced or renovated after 30 years. Also given the size of the job it takes years to get it ready; you need to start ten years out. The construction takes a year plus, but finding land, tax incentives, etc. takes years to work out.

  31. # buckeye044 says: August 23, 2010 9:01 AM
    @ Bear-a-holic
    Didn’t they just tear down Soldier Field and totally rebuild it?
    They gutted Soldier Field in 2002 and basically built a new stadium inside the shell of the old one.
    With a capacity of only 61,500 it is now the smallest stadium in the NFL and the Bears could easily sell out a 80,000 seat stadium.
    On top of that part of it is from the original construction in 1924.
    The Bears do need a new place and they need someone other than the Chicago Park District to maintain the playing field.
    Something like Qwest Field would be ok with me.

  32. @ bigblue, Those John Deere’s are the backbone of this country. We don’t need ya around anyhow, cityboy.

  33. Why do people always talk about the Panthers not filling seats? In 2009 they averaged 99.3% attendance. That’s 13th in the league. The interesting thing is, BoA seats an average of 5,000 more fans than any other team ahead of them in the % category with the exception of the Cowboys. Mind you, this was when Jake the Mistake was still at the helm and the Cats were struggling. Our fans rock.
    Get informed people.

  34. @ MOH
    I think you have ticket sales and actual attendance confused.
    Because of PSL’s virtually all of the tickets get sold every season (buy ’em or lose ’em). But there are many unoccupied seats at every game and I’m not talking about the club seats where the ticket holder is in the climate controlled area having a $14 vodka and tonic. Furthermore our fans don’t rock, they flock………right out of the gate to get a jump on traffic. If Panthers are down by 10+ in the 3rd qtr that stadium is gonna empty out faster than Dan Morgan gets an injury.

  35. I don’t mind franchises being moved to cities that can afford to have them. I also don’t mind new stadiums being built if the owners can afford them or the owner and a municipality can come to an agreement.
    Buffalo clearly needs a new stadium or to move to a community that can afford to build one. Jacksonville clearly isn’t willing to support a team and the franchise needs to move.
    Charlotte is a growing community in an economically strong part of the country. A new stadium in the next twenty years is certainly possible esp. given the local market’s solid ticket sales and the community pride in having an NFL franchise. How the new venue will be financed is anyone’s guess and the current owner’s long term health is also a factor in what happens in Charlotte. Estate taxes can take a healthy chunk out of a franchise’s operating capital.

  36. # DC_Bengals_Fan says:
    A smart small-market team would build a stadium completely self-financed for $250M, pocket a lot of
    If it were an indoor arena that handled 18,000 fans, sure but NOT an outdoor stadium that has luxury boxes and handles 60,000+ fans. Pittsburgh built theirs for $281 mil but that opened in 2001 and they couldn’t do it now for under $500 mil. If you can build it for $250 mil then you shouldn’t have built it in the first place because it won’t have the luxury boxes, nice club seats, the video scoreboards and the kind of venue that attracts other events that the owner can line his pockets with cash without sharing it with the other owners and players.
    wend28 says:
    Florio has done an article about that. Search for it to see what others have said.

  37. BOA stadium is incredibly vanilla. Having said that, the stadiums would be a better investment if they had rugby league or rugby union in the venues during the spring and summer.

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