If you're the kind of person who loves local politics sprinkled in your football, then Wednesday morning in Charlotte was a treat. Jerry Richardson and members of the Carolina Panthers front office began the task of hammering out the framework of their 15-year funding agreement with the city. While most of the discussion centered on where tax money would be going, and what would happen with excess dollars -- we did get some nuggets about the future of the team, and how the city view it.
Braving an early, rainy morning -- Dianne Gallagher of WCNC in Charlotte had excellent updates on her Twitter feed. The city is petrified of losing the Panthers, that much is clear. While they know Richardson won't move the team, they are incredibly scared of a new owner. JR acknowledged that Los Angeles was courting the team during the Democratic National Convention, while saying he's had one prior offer to move the team to L.A. also. The risk was never losing it now, but post-death. The 15-year agreement would keep the Panthers in town short-term, but there's no telling how a court would side in a lawsuit. The Seattle Supersonics had an agreement with the city of Seattle, for example, and they were allowed to pay the city to break the agreement - ultimately moving to Oklahoma city.
In exchange for the lump sum for renovations, Charlotte has requested the Belk Bowl, and another four events be permitted ‘lease free' to the city. In addition, they've requested that the renovation work done to the stadium be permitted to women, and minority owned small businesses.
Panthers renovation agreement: Sides talk about future of organization
Cat Scratch Reader | Feb 13