Panthers' President meets with Charlotte Chamber, finds support - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Panthers' President meets with Charlotte Chamber, finds support

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

The Carolina Panthers continue to make their case for using some public money to pay for improvements to Bank of America stadium.

Today's push to the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce may have been one of the easier fights in the battle.

The chair of the chamber said Monday he's behind the Panthers and their requests one hundred percent.

"Without the Panthers, quite honestly, we're not the same. We're not the same state, we're not the same region," Chamber Chair Brett Carter said.

To keep the Cats here, Carter calls the teams' requests economically feasible, saying he thinks a one cent increase on the prepared food tax to make it happen is an option.

"I do believe raising the taxes in some format is going to be necessary in order to fund what required from the state in the new upgrade," Carter said.

Maybe with their help, skeptical state leaders will budge.

While it may be true some legislators lawmakers recognize the value of the Panthers...senators like including Jeff Tarte tell us they hesitate to hand out public funds.

The plan calls for $59 million for new video boards, ribbon boards and a sound system. $62 million will be spent to upgrade stadium infrastructure including HVAC units, playing fields and concrete coatings.

"I think the cooler heads are going to prevail...there are obviously going to be people in there that say this is a tough economy and this is not the time," Carter said.

Late Monday afternoon, the Board of Directors of Charlotte Center City Partners came on board adopting a resolution asking state lawmakers to support public funding for stadium improvements.

"I have to believe that our legislators are going to do what it takes to keep them here and how ever long that takes and whatever funding mechanism they put in place, that is up to them. I can't second guess them," Carter said.

"We're in the process so we really don't know where it's going to go right now. We've made good progress," Morrison said.

Morrison says he confident something will work out.

He says the sooner a resolution the better. Morrison pointed out there's only a short time to do these renovations from the time the season is over to the beginning of the next year. The plans call for things to happen within a 2 or 3 year span.

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