Panthers owner David Tepper has already gotten the state of South Carolina to help him pay for a new practice facility. He’s apparently willing to put his “Two States, One Team” motto into practice by letting North Carolinians help him with a bigger project.
Tepper told Ben Fischer of the Sports Business Journal he hoped to build a new retractable-dome stadium in Charlotte, as long as there was taxpayer help.
“At some point, I would make a big investment if I could get the state and others on board in a new stadium that would be great for soccer and great for football,” Tepper said, referring to his bid to bring MLS to Charlotte. “The economy’s big enough for a revenue tax, a hotel revenue increase that would go a long way to help pay for a new stadium.”
The Panthers were already planning some renovations to Bank of America Stadium, which opened in 1996, if the MLS bid is approved.
Tepper has often talked about bringing more events to his stadium, from concerts to Final Fours. To do so would require a different sort of building, and floating the idea now helps people get used to the idea before it’s time to open their wallets. He said he won’t embark on such a project without public help.
“People here in Charlotte have to realize: This is a really major, growing, important city, and it needs that sort of presence,” Tepper said. “Charlotte, in my mind, for these two states, should be the sports and entertainment capital. That’s what it’s meant to be.”
Tepper is the richest single owner in the NFL, with an estimated net worth of over $11 billion.