CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - When the Panthers and city of Charlotte agreed to a 10-year deal, the city committed to spending $87.5 million of taxpayers money to make stadium improvements throughout the years. Despite the new ownership, Mayor Vi Lyles says a deal is a deal.
“That agreement has several years left,” Mayor Lyles said, “and we're just going to keep working from there.”
The Panthers, in exchange for the $87.5 million, agreed to stay in Charlotte through the 2022 season. If the owner wants to build a new stadium before that, the city has options. They can either collect $37.5 million in damages or buy the stadium for $1.
Many don’t think it’ll ever come to that.
“I think it's just as good as any other stadium,” sad Panthers fan, Andrew Cook, “but it's all about location. It's convenient to all the people around the Charlotte area.”
Council member James Mitchell doesn’t seem worried.
“He loves the city,” Mitchell said. “He's visited several times. and so that makes the mayor and city council feel very good that we got an owner who loves the city and loves his fan base.”
“I wouldn't change a thing about it,” said another fan.
What if David Tepper broke the contract, however, and built a new stadium?
“Where exactly would we put it?” wondered Tracy Rogers. “That' the big question.”
The stadium sits on 33 acres, which isn’t exactly a small plot of land. Mayor Lyles says she hasn’t had a conversation with Tepper just yet, but plans to in the near future.
“As soon as the NFL has made its formal announcement, that then we begin to talk to the owner and the NFL,” she told FOX 46 Charlotte.
The deal will officially close in July.