One of the bidders for the Panthers is making his fourth visit to the city in the last three months, and allaying some concerns their panicky fanbase might have about relocation.
Via Rick Rothacker of the Charlotte Observer, Canadian steel magnate Alan Kestenbaum was in town for a series of meetings with local business leaders at the PGA tour stop.
He had previously toured the stadium as part of his interest in buying the team from disgraced owner Jerry Richardson. Kestenbaum met with local businessman and Hornets minority owner Felix Sabates, along with Panthers minority owner Cameron Harris.
He also dismissed the suggestion the team might move. He lives in Miami, but because he owns a large thing in Canada, many Charlotteans (stung by the NBA Hornets’ decision to bolt for New Orleans) were leery.But Kestenbaum lives in Florida and said he had no interest in a move.
“The Panthers belong in Charlotte,” Kestenbaum said. “They were born here. The fans are here.”
Kestenbaum is one of four identified bidders in the process, and Sabates said during an interview on WFNZ that two of them were looking for a new stadium as part of any deal. While Bank of America Stadium lacks some amenities (including a roof), the building is otherwise sound.
Other bidders include Steelers minority partner David Tepper, South Carolina financier Ben Navarro, and e-commerce entrepreneur Michael Rubin.
The league was hoping to have something to vote on at the May 21-23 meeting in Atlanta, but the clock is ticking on that.