One of the future stadium enhancements just announced as part of the agreement between the Panthers and the city of Charlotte is an indoor practice facility. I assume they will put it on the grounds because otherwise I'm not sure how you would add an indoor facility to an outdoor stadium.
Per Danny Morrison:
Carolina Panthers outline deal, stadium priorities - Charlotte Business Journal
An indoor practice facility, escalators at all of the stadium entrances and two cycles of video boards and other high-tech features top the list of improvements for the Carolina Panthers as part of a $300 million proposal with local and state taxpayers. Danny Morrison, the Panthers' team president, outlined more details from the negotiations and a stadium master plan on Monday afternoon during an interview at his office inside Bank of America Stadium. Populous, the Kansas City-based firm that designed the 17-year-old stadium, conducted the assessment. The firm was known as HOK Sport when it drew up the plans for the 74,000-seat uptown stadium.
So we are going to pump $300M into a stadium that we already plan to replace in 2026? Hey, I'm all about top of the line scoreboards and video. Escalators are a welcome improvement as well coming from someone usually in the upper deck.
Nothing is free in this world right? The money has to come from somewhere and the city agreed to help out:
The agreement relies on a 1 percent increase in the tax on restaurant meals and bar tabs, a hike that requires approval from the state legislature.
Now before you get too offended please know the Panthers economic impact to the city as a whooping $636M annually.
On Friday, City Council endorsed the framework of a deal that would contribute $143.75 million toward renovations at the team's privately owned stadium in exchange for a 15-year commitment to keep the Panthers in Charlotte.
A little less than half with the remainder paid by the team. I would say the shrewd Mr. Jerry Richardson got another nice deal done. Yet the city got a sweetener as well:
In addition, the Panthers would kick in $96.25 million, though $15 million of that is for maintenance, an obligation the team undertook from the start since it owns the stadium. Another $18.75 million from the Panthers comes from a clause providing the city with five rent-free days to use the stadium each year, including the Belk Bowl college football game.
The Belk Bowl Lives!