Panthers owner wants retractable roof stadium in next 10 years


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.

62 responses to “Panthers owner wants retractable roof stadium in next 10 years

  1. I’d like a brand new Tesla with a retractable sunroof if I can get the state on board. “People here have to realize: This is a really major, growing, important part of my driveway, and it needs that sort of presence,” I said. “My car, in my mind, for the tri-state area I live in, should be the entertainment capital of the road. That’s what it’s meant to be.”

  2. Well, I’m one of those taxpayers and I don’t give a crap about a retractable roof. And to be honest, Charlotte doesn’t have a die hard sports mentality like many other cities do. It used to be all about Nascar years ago but even that has died down with the sport. Charlotte is a relatively young city with an even younger NFL team. Give it 25 years, win a SB or two and then start asking taxpayer’s to give you free money.

  3. Hey! I want to open a donut shop in Charlotte! Can I get public funding to build a shop? If you can’t do that for me, we cannot do this for a billionaire. Build your own facility!

  4. Here we go again. A multi-billionaire demanding tapayer funding to replace a perfectly good stadium. Hopefully the voters in North Carolina aren’t that stupid.

  5. The economy’s big enough for a revenue tax, a hotel revenue increase that would go a long way to help put some more money in my pocket at tax payer expense.

    “People here in XXX have to realize: This is a really major, growing, important city, and it needs that sort of presence,

    I like that, we NEED to give a rich guy money. Yes sir, sign me up.

  6. He’ll claim that he’s not really worth $11B, that it’s all on paper. Then produce schedules from his CPA team showing his worth to be a couple of million in actual dollars.

  7. He’s worth $11 billion, so of course the people who live paycheck to paycheck should help build his stadium.

  8. Just my opinion but the city gets a revenue from people attending the games, spending money on food, hotels, big boom in bars around the city. It is a good economic investment for the city to make along with the owner. City benefits from it so they should put the investment in.

  9. I moved to Charlotte 3 years ago. The current stadium doesn’t have parking lots on its property. He wants a new stadium because he’s missing out on 50,000+ cars paying 30 bucks a pop to park. If he thinks I will offer my tax dollars freely when he stands to make an extra 1.5 million every home game, he can pound sand. Buzz around town is he has been looking at land about 20 miles outside of center city Charlotte, far enough away that you would HAVE to use the stadium’s parking lots.

  10. Charlotte in the fall and winter is lovely. Of course, Cam probably complained because it dipped under 50° once.

  11. Every comment so far is spot-on. Tepper wants to privatize the gains and make the losses public. Time for a revolution.

  12. He should just write out a check. Like we do when we want something.

  13. Wow, I don’t recall ever seeing so many comments I agree with.

    I thinks taxpayers should get part ownership proportional to contribution. That will stop this nonsense.

  14. Well, well, well, a hedge-fund manager wants others to pay for his wealth – shocker.

  15. Ok first off, I understand what the financial implications are for the State when there is a new stadium built. I understand that some people need help to build their $1-2Billion dollar building and maybe even more for the shopping center around it. This man is not one of them. To ask for money when you have over $11Billion dollars is crazy.

  16. Screw him and welfare for billionaires. Let him pay for his own freaking palace.

  17. Rich people understand that it take other people’s money to make money. Which is why they always go for public money.

    That being said, assuming he’d build a $1.5 billion stadium (last 5 have averaged $1.2) and personally financed half of the cost; each seat would need to generate $9375 to pay for the stadium. Selling PSLs for two pro teams cuts that average to $4687 per seat per team. Right now that’s just below the rough average on the Panther’s PSL site.

    I could see the state kicking in $100 million (tax breaks, maybe a land donation) but I just don’t see us paying for half the stadium or more unless we’re getting a percentage of the proceeds. Especially when the PSL model could generate so much of the cost if two teams played in the stadium. Legalizing sports betting in the state would likely be a better way to generate the revenue.

  18. He’s a billionaire. If he wants a roof then I’m sure there are plenty of contractors able to help him

  19. He could pay for it himself and still be a billionaire several times over. Asking for help is just unbridled greed. He clearly has no idea what its like to truly need.

  20. Very encouraged to see the universal decrying of this obscene money grab by ANOTHER NFL owner. It is ludicrous to ask for Billionare welfare in this day and age.

    I know that these days while more and more teams hope to emulate the Patriots ON the field. They also should emulate them OFF the field as well. The Pats built their stadium back in 2002 with ZERO tax dollars (The state paid $70MM for highway infrastructure, but it was paid back years ago WITH interest from parking fees), and every few years the Krafts spend millions more for upgrades over the years.

    I CANNOT understand why this “if only the state can help me fund this stadium” mentality exists when there is a franchise who has shown it CLEARLY can be done privately.

  21. Didn’t Jerry build his own stadium? And aren’t the Cowboys worth 5 Billion? Build it yourself cheapskate!

  22. That’s great and all, but let’s hope that HE will pay for it with the profits rather than having the taxpayers pay for it by pressing the government for funds.

  23. HE’D be willing to make a big investment… just as soon as SOMEBODY ELSE agreed to pay for it.

  24. “Tepper is the richest single owner in the NFL, with an estimated net worth of over $11 billion.” Then why does he need help? Why does he need welfare. The rich get richer off the back of other people. He has billions. If you want a roof, pay for it yourself.

  25. Poor guy…just doesn’t know where his next meal is coming from and needs a little help from the public…LOL !

  26. Kroenke paid for his own stadium in CA — I think the days of completely publicly funded stadiums are over. This owner will have to kick in at least half to get it done.

  27. Arlington stadium was funded in part by the City of Arlington $350 million and the NFL $150 million.

  28. bluefalcon70 says:
    July 31, 2019 at 10:25 am
    Say hello to the Oakland/St. Louis/San Diego Panthers.
    Why? Are taxes not high enough in those cities? Do the taxpayers enjoy giving away their hard-earned money? Do they want to watch Cam Newton ride a segway through the middle of downtown?

  29. This always bothered me about the public backlash to lot of stadium deals. This is not people paying property taxes or income taxes. In fact it minimally impacts people who live in Charlotte. People do realize he is talking about HOTEL TAXES right? Revenue from hotel taxes are used for tourism activities that will bring more people to hotels. I guess I don’t understand the backlash if a hotel tax pays for a portion of the stadium. That’s what it’s designed to do and a lot more business owners than the panthers owner benefit financially from the events.

  30. Why does Charlotte need a domed stadium at all? The fall weather in NC is beautiful most of the time. I could see this if the football season in Charlotte involved super hot or bitter cold weather like Las Vegas or Minneapolis, but it usually does neither. A domed stadium is a want, not a need, for Charlotte. Get real.

  31. They shoulda sold to Bruton Smith. He woulda slapped that stadium right in the middle of Charlotte Motor Speedway and put a roof over that too. No more rain delays!!

  32. Tax-payers don’t own BOA Stadium, he does. It came in the purchase of the team. Why would he want to spend any of his own money for a new stadium that the city would primarily fund and own?

    You know how much red tape there is when operating your business on a government owned complex? Other teams do it, but it’s a huge pain to even paint the walls.

    Haven’t been to Charlotte in years, but isn’t BOA Stadium highly regarded?

  33. “Why does Charlotte need a domed stadium at all?”

    Because Tepper wants an MLS team, and is basing the stadium concept on Atlanta’s.

  34. “djp141 says:
    July 31, 2019 at 1:31 pm
    “Why does Charlotte need a domed stadium at all?”

    Because Tepper wants an MLS team, and is basing the stadium concept on Atlanta’s.”

    And he wants the Final Four in Charlotte.

  35. North Carolina has the 32nd ranked public school system in the country.

    But hey, a lid on a stadium in a city that gets 4 inches of snow a year and the average high temp in September is 81°, that’s a great use of tax dollars.

  36. To the dude that mentioned the parking of 50,000 cars at $30 a pop, that’s cheap. In KC it’s $40-60 a pop and I’m sure the bigger markets are even more.

  37. One of the most exciting games I’ve attended in Panthers stadium was beating the Saints a few years ago to earn a playoff spot in a torrential downpour. The rain was a big part of the game. Likewise Clemson beating Chapel Hill in the 30* ACC championship game to the National Championship the weather was part of the game. Roofs suck.

  38. Hey, hey, hey. You guys aren’t giving Tepper enough credit, and I think that there are major mischaracterizations going on here.

    He’s worth $11.6 billion.

  39. It’s a hotel tax…how many locals live at a hotel ??? It’s not an entertainment or prepared food tax…if it was then I could sense the hostility….


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