Comment and analysis on all things Charlotte

The Panthers issue their demands

Want $125 million from the city for Bank of America Stadium upgrades. Apparently do not tell Charlotte City Council in closed session what exactly the money would buy in upgrades, or the total cost of the retrofit. And the city/county is considering paying for this through doubling the tax on prepared food, so that residents would be subsidizing Jerry Richardson and friends whether they ate at Hardees or not when they ate out.

The math here is rather strange. The current prepared food tax brings in $24 million. Doubling the tax rate won’t double tax revenues but then you don’t need anywhere near a $24 million a year revenue stream to finance $125 million in bonds at today’s interest rates. So what would the excess funds go towards?

City council again shows zero negotiating ability. A closed-door session to take the team’s request? Really? That amounts to sparing the team a considerable portion of the public relations hit that comes from asking for public money. And certainly there’s no tape of Jerry Richardson or Danny Morrison asking for a handout that can be used to gin up opposition to the proposal.

The move only makes sense if city council had already de facto decided to cave in to whatever The Big Cat asked for, and was looking to keep this as low key as possible when it gives the Panthers everything they want out of fear he’d move the team to Los Angeles. Less publicity equals less voter anger directed at council members for the tax hike that’s coming.

Bonus observation: If city leadership were minimally competent, they would have had the Panthers publicly define their stadium upgrade proposal before agreeing to a meeting. And that includes a cost estimate.

One Response to “The Panthers issue their demands”

  • Jan


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