Comment and analysis on all things Charlotte

The great Panthers’ stadium freakout of 2012

There’s really no other way to describe it: The Uptown powers that be are scared that the Panthers will head to Los Angeles, from which comes a willingness to shove public dollars at Jerry Richardson. And it isn’t just Charlotte City Council that’s assuming a surrendering before details have come out stance.

Charlotte Chamber President Bob Morgan tells the Charlotte Business Journal “That reality scares the hell out of me. It’s sobering.”

N.C. House Speaker Thom Tillis went a step further and told the CBJ that he’s open to using state money for Bank Of America Stadium improvements:

“Clearly, the economic impact of the Carolina Panthers is very well-documented,” Tillis said. “To get to a point where you could attract a Super Bowl and ensure (the future of the franchise here), we’re open to discussing that.”

And we have Mohammad Jenatian, president of the Greater Charlotte Hospitality & Tourism Alliance, calling for a regional tax to subsidize stadium improvements:

“We may have to reach out to our neighbors in surrounding counties,” Jenatian says, mentioning Cabarrus and other counties surrounding Mecklenburg. “They’re the Carolina Panthers, not the Charlotte Panthers. All the counties around us get the benefit of an NFL team.”

All of which is quite silly as economic studies have consistently refuted the idea that pro sports are good for local economies. Even Mr. Creative Class himself, Richard Florida, thinks it’s a very bad idea.

Bonus observation: There’s considerable opposition in Atlanta to building the Falcons a new stadium, with more people questioning the economic impact that such a new facility would bring:

Rep. Mike Dudgeon, R-Johns Creek, said constituents lose trust in government when leaders insist they have to tighten budgets and cut programs because of the economy, but then turn around and dedicate money to a stadium.

“For me, it doesn’t pass the smell test,” said Dudgeon.

Many agree. A poll commissioned by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in July found 67 percent of respondents opposed using hotel-motel tax money for the project. Watchdog group Common Cause Georgia on Monday called for more public input in the negotiations.

3 Responses to “The great Panthers’ stadium freakout of 2012”

  • Nov
    12
    2012

    Richardson said: “It has always been my desire that the Carolinas would be the home of our Panthers. Nothing has changed. As someone who was born in North Carolina and lived much of my life in South Carolina, I hope that there would be no doubts about my personal devotion to the Carolinas.”

    He desires that the Can’thers stay but if you don’t build a new stadium for him he may desire Hollywood.

  • Nov
    13
    2012

    Don’t we normally hear some type of grumblings from the home team about the need for a new stadium before the local politicos go throwing money around? I’m hopelessly naive about these things, but it seems like the negotiating process is totally backwards with this attempt to throw taxpayer money at a stadium before the grumblings have even begun?

    Or am I just not reading between the lines properly and I should take Richardson’s statements that he never wants the team to play elsewhere as meaning the total opposite?

    And what other stadium subsidies come from the state level and not just the local city level? What is Tillis thinking volunteering state taxpayer money for a Charlotte team?

    I wish I could think like a politician so any of this would make sense to me.

  • Nov
    14
    2012

    LC,

    The process is backwards. The Panthers are known to be conducting a study about upgrading their stadium but what that would involve is still pretty vague — escalators and new scoreboards have been mention. No one knows the cost figure. Don’t know how you can reasonably negotiate without any idea of the cost.

    Tllis is proposing to do what pols have always done — bring back pork for their local community.

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