When you’ve got the kind of money Panthers owner David Tepper does, no whim is necessarily out of reach.
Tepper was chatting the other day after a charity appearance at Bank of America Stadium, when the topic of his facilities came up. And he casually made a remark that would make a big change in his adopted city’s skyline.
“What I would love, if we could ever do it and get people to support it,” he said, via Jourdan Rodrigue of the Charlotte Observer, “is to put some sort of roof on here and have a Final Four in North Carolina. . . . I love that idea. It drives me nuts.”
He was mostly joking. We think. When he starts talking, sometimes he can’t help himself. (And “get people to support it” also sounds like code for “get other people to help pay for it.”)
He also has more pressing capital projects regarding his football team. They plan to create some kind of indoor bubble over their three practice fields next to the stadium, as a temporary fix until they build an off-site practice facility. He also plans to update/renovate the stadium, but a roof would be the kind of big-ticket, long-range fix that seems mostly just a daydream.
He was serious about getting more use out of his stadium. He has openly pined for an MLS team, and mentioned concerts and other events as well.
“There are a lot of things we can be and will be doing for the community, to use this stadium more,” he said. “It shouldn’t just be an eight, 10-game event. . . . We probably will be expanding that in one way or another.
“Some of these things take a little bit of time. . . . Listen, I would love to have the [Rolling] Stones here. I would love to have the Stones here. But we couldn’t do it at this point. We’ll look to have some concerts in here. Some of these things are planned out in advance — we are looking now into how to. I don’t know if there is anything additional planned, but there is a lot of stuff on the table.”
And when you’re worth more than $11 billion, you can have bigger plans.