More Charlotte tax dollars headed to Carolina Panthers? - | WBTV Charlotte

More Charlotte tax dollars headed to Carolina Panthers?

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Crews are almost done with the expensive renovations at Bank of America Stadium.

Tax payers put up 87 million dollars, and WBTV has learned that keeping the team here longer may require another 50 million dollars more.

While tax dollars have paid for tens of millions of dollars in recent stadium improvements to Bank of America Stadium, the Carolina Panthers may soon be executing another expensive proposition with the City of Charlotte.

Assistant City Manager Ron Kimble is the point man who negotiated the last deal of 87 million dollars that provided a hard tether to keep the team here through the 2018 season.

"There is the opportunity to have conversations all the way up to August 1 of 2015 to see if there is a way we can elongate our relationship with the Panthers," he said.

Binding the Panthers to another hard tether through the 2022 season means the city will have to pony up another 50 million dollars by August 1 of next year.

Kimble said, "We've had no conversations with the Panthers, with the state or with our own elected officials because the opportunity has not presented itself."

Tight budget decisions are always an ongoing issue with Charlotte City Council, and Mayor Pro Tem Michael Barnes isn't sure where the money would come from.

"We have fairly limited options of how we can generate that money, and it's also very premature," Barnes said.

However, Kimble calls the Panthers a needed asset.

"We want the Panthers to stay here in Charlotte and we want to be known as an NFL city here for many many years to come.

City officials say keeping the team for another four seasons would average 12.5 million dollars a year.

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