Deal between Panthers, Rock Hill is literally on the rocks

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Nearly a month after the Panthers pulled the plug on construction of a new headquarters and practice facility in Rock Hill, South Carolina, the impasse may end with the Panthers walking away.

Via the Charlotte Business Journal, a York County councilman believes the Panthers have permanently abandoned the project, and that the team will instead seek to recover its expenses from Rock Hill.

The Panthers pressed pause last month after Rock Hill failed to issue bonds for $225 million in taxpayer funding for the 240-acre development. The powers-that-be have since tried to come up with an alternative financing plan. However, the Panthers have not accepted this approach.

On March 7, Panthers owner David Tepper said through Tepper Sports that more than $170 million has been invested in the project.

State Senator Wes Climer lashed out at Tepper. “If David Tepper’s behavior is indicative of how the NFL does business, then who wants to do business with the NFL?” Climer said, via FITSNews.com.

Separately on Tuesday, Climer ripped Tepper in comments to the Charlotte Business Journal.

“The bottom line is that our community deserves answers,” Climer said. “The city, the county, the state and the Panthers worked together constructively for a considerable period of time at great effort to bring to Rock Hill a world-class sports entertainment center. David Tepper came to Rock Hill promising us Jerry Jones and ever since then he’s given us Dan Snyder.”

If Tepper, one of the richest owners in the NFL, simply walks away without trying to work things out with Rock Hill, it could create a major problem for the NFL. Given the league’s misadventures in St. Louis, it surely doesn’t relish another piece of litigation that likely would play out in the state-court system of a city that has gotten the raw end of a deal with the NFL.

Beyond the potential for a legal battle, an interloping hedge-fund manager from Pittsburgh sticking it to a small Southern town smack dab in the middle of the team’s fan base will create a P.R. nightmare for Tepper. And it could make it a lot harder for Tepper to get the kind of public funding he’ll want for a new stadium.

Frankly, there’s a good chance Tepper is playing high-level hardball with Rock Hill as a shot across the bow at Charlotte. The hard bargain Tepper has chosen to drive in South Carolina could be a precursor to the hard bargain he’ll drive in North Carolina.

Maybe that’s why Tepper seems to be untroubled by the current situation. His deeper message could be far more pointed.

Give me what I want, or I eventually will be gone.

49 responses to “Deal between Panthers, Rock Hill is literally on the rocks

  1. You mean “Figuratively” on the rocks. I see no rocks mentioned upon which this deal sits.

  2. I’m going to build a swimming pool this summer. I’m going to have my neighborhood help me pay for it. When they ask to come over and use it I’ll charge them for the usage and the parking if they need to drive – even after they’ve paid a good percentage of the costs. I’ll also charge them to watch me swim. Sounds ridiculous doesn’t it!

  3. If the municipality does not want to provide their side of funding, then why are they up in arms that Tepper is changing his plans?

    You know why…because the municipality is going to lose a ton of tax revenue from property. Income, and tourism tax dollars. The muninipality played hardball and lost their tax money. Not Teppers tax money.

  4. this guy is a arrogant greaseball…fans in Charlotte are seeing right thru him

  5. I have always tried to steer away from saying anything negative about Tepper. But he has taken to far when it come to York County, Rock Hill, and the people in the area. Him staying quite doesn’t just hurt him it hurts everyone that works within Tepper Sports & Entertainment. The proposal on the table seems to be fair he’s got the money to fulfill the option even though his recoup towards recovery is over 30 years but it’s a good faith notion on Teppers side. Acting the way Tepper is handling the situation is going to shot down chances on the city of Charlotte wanting to work with Tepper on a new stadium.

  6. Wow, what a look there… arguing with the public over how much they are to subsidize you.

  7. Acting the way Tepper is handling the situation is going to shot down chances on the city of Charlotte wanting to work with Tepper on a new stadium.

    ——————-

    Which means he may just move the team elsewhere.

  8. I can see an end to the NFL, soon. Owners who only own for a dollar and no idea how to run one of these major corporations, because they are the only ones who can afford a team. Haslem’s come to mind when they admitted, we had no idea what we were doing buying this team. Because no one else had the cash to do so. I love this game, but the money is not sustainable.

  9. Fund your own stadium like a good owner and real billionaire David.

    What a quote on Jones vs Snyder…..ouch

  10. xxsweepthelegxx says:

    Fund your own stadium like a good owner and real billionaire David.
    ———————–
    Why should David Tepper provide this complex when the property, income, and tourism tax will go into the state coffers and not his bank account.

  11. The way Tepper runs this team, you’d think an 8 year old brat was in charge.

  12. This is a hilarious quote: “…promising us Jerry Jones and ever since then he’s given us Dan Snyder.”

  13. Just open your checkbook. This welfair for billionaires is a joke. He already pays nothing in tax he doesn’t reside there so his tax dollars go to jersey.

  14. All these billionaires always go out of their way to tell us all how bad handouts are while looking for handouts 24/7, odd how that works

  15. When all big city’s stop paying for stadium where will those billionaires turn for the money. Maybe they will have to use their own money. I bet they wouldn’t like that.

  16. This guy has been a major disappointment as an owner. The sport is set up for terrible owners to succeed, no matter how bad the product.

  17. “David Tepper came to Rock Hill promising us Jerry Jones and ever since then he’s given us Dan Snyder.“

    Ouch.

  18. vottorific says:
    April 5, 2022 at 8:52 pm
    I can see an end to the NFL, soon. Owners who only own for a dollar and no idea how to run one of these major corporations, because they are the only ones who can afford a team. Haslem’s come to mind when they admitted, we had no idea what we were doing buying this team. Because no one else had the cash to do so. I love this game, but the money is not sustainable.
    ————–

    Yeah, we’ve gone from the old days owners of rich guys like Bud Adams, Carol Rosenbloom, Lamar Hunt, etc, that loved the game and wanted to win at all costs, to guys like Jim Haslem, David Ross, and David Tepper that have no desires other than to pad their wallets.

    People out there that love the game and would make great owners are non-existent to the NFL because they can’t afford to pay a billion dollars for a franchise.

    The days of cities building stadiums are starting to come to a close as well. There will always be an outlier city that’ll build a new stadium for a team, but you probably won’t find 32 sustainable 2nd options out there.

  19. I hope SC tells Tepper to eat it. How long will taxpayers fund billionaire’s place of business?

  20. If only the days of “public funded” stadiums were over. Make them pay for it themselves or have to hold “fund-raisers” to get the capital neccesary- not make the average Janes and Joes pay for their play-thing……

  21. “David Tepper came to Rock Hill promising us Jerry Jones and ever since then he’s given us Dan Snyder.”

    *******************

    This guy proves he does not know football. Nobody wants an owner like Jones or Snyder.

  22. A team named “Carolina” could be located in either state, so he can play the two against each other.
    Very Gordon Gekko.

  23. Every week it seems another Billionaire owner shows how ruthless they are. It doesn’t matter if the community, employees, fans are harmed to these people. They simply have to get what they want damn the consequences.

  24. The guy may be a force in the hedge fund world, but he’s a total bust at running a franchise. Overpaid for a coach not in demand, can’t evaluate QB’s, trying to strong arm Rock Hill, trying to blackmail Charlotte into building a new stadium, never talks to the local press, his team is the very definition of mediocre. Other than that, he’s great!

  25. Some owners want to operate as part of the community and still get rich – some owners are comfortable destroying all good will with the community and want to extract every cent possible as quickly as possible.

  26. This is what happens when you try to deal with carpetbagger billionaires. Lest anybody think that all NFL owners are like George Steinbrenner (difficult to deal with but loyal to the fan base) all one need do is take a look at the most recent additions to the owners club. Jackals who feed off the fan base, hold entire regions hostage and still pack up and move if they don’t get every single thing they want on their wish list. It’s time to end the tax exempt status for the monopoly known as the NFL.

  27. Taxpayers are figuring out that bonds are not free money. That town would be in hock for decades in exchange for what — a practice facility and some conference rooms? C’mon

  28. Panthers are just running out the clock and waiting for football season to start again so that can lose for real.

  29. And people love to rag on Jimmy and Dee. This guy was bad news for Charlotte the moment he showed up.

  30. Wonderful sentiment about having the billionaire owners pay for their stadium. There is no doubt that this is how it should be. But there is a problem: another city will shell out the dough. The happy “San Antonio Panters” statement points it out. As long as there is another city willing to come up with the cash, the owners have the leverage. Even putird owners who treat the locals like garbage.

  31. So isnt this just a training camp facility? I lived in spg when the panthers attended wofford for training camp it didnt seem to bring enough people into town to provide anywhere near that type of funding. Maybe I am missing something but Tepper is turning alot of panther fans against him.

  32. Wow. It’s bad enough that these rich schmucks expect the public to pay for their stadiums, but now they expect a public handout even for offices and training facilities?

    Where does the greed end? The answer is that for people who crave and hoard this much money, it never ends. It’s up to the rest of us to tell them, “no more”.

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