Panthers bidder in town for golf tournament, meetings with business leaders

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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.

5 responses to “Panthers bidder in town for golf tournament, meetings with business leaders

  1. It’s not about the stadium. It’s about that cash cow called parking. BOA stadium is beautiful, in a great location for FANS and could add a roof (see Miami) that would be a fraction of the cost of a new stadium. That roof and artificial turf would enable the stadium to host many events it doesn’t now.

  2. roofs are all the rage because the owners can monetize the stadiums 100 times a year as opposed to 10-15. sure, they are staying in Charlotte…until they aren’t. they will demand a $1 billion-ish stadium will all the amenities from the local and state tax base, or else. now, the profit from the other events outside of football, and the necessary parking, that flows to the owners and not back into the economy, or else. then add the bacon bits of a future super bowl, and the suck salad that is the crippling of a local and state economy is complete.

  3. Mr. Kestenbaum is right about the fan base. The Chargers failed ‘relocation’ to LA proves the fan base to be fundamental to success of any team. The Rams own LA because they had a leg up being THE successful NFL franchise earlier. They have the clear momentum now with few fans attending the Carson facility. Sad.

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