In an article on the Charlotte Business Journal web site, Erik Spanberg, outlines the discussion between the Panthers and the City of Charlotte for stadium upgrades. While I suggest using the link above to read the article yourself, let's look at the important details of the proposal:
- Total Investment $250 million
- $125 million paid by the City of Charlotte
- $62.5 million from the State of North Carolina
- $62.5 million paid by the Panther's organization
- Panthers commit to staying in Charlotte for 10 years
The city's money would come from a 1% tax on restaurant meals and bar tabs. The state has said they would not provide money for the stadium, but would be willing to provide infrastructure.
With this in mind, let's drill down a bit in terms of negotiation. As the article points out, the 1% tax would pay off the investment after 15 years, yet Richardson is only committing to 10 years.
As we all know, the Big Cat is a shrewd negotiator who will use whatever levers he can to get the deal he wants. So what pressure points does he have.
- As things stand, he could move the Panther's whenever he wants to. Sure, due to his ties to the community, he probably wouldn't, but because he doesn't have a lease, he could.
- He announced the team would be sold two years after his death. Without the the commitment to the city, the buyer could move the team anywhere.
Since I don't live in the Charlotte area, I'm not going to offer an opinion on whether the city should pay the $125 million, but I do want to know what you think. Take the poll and make your comments bellow.