CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Your Carolina Panthers could be getting a stadium with a retractable roof. David Tepper, the team’s owner, has made it very clear he wants to make this happen so Charlotte can be a household name for sports and entertainment.
If Tepper has said it once, he’s probably said it about a hundred times: “Charlotte should be, is destined to be the sports entertainment capital of the Carolinas.”
The billionaire businessman believes for the Queen City to become an attraction for major events like the NCAA Men’s Final Four tournament, the answer lies with a retractable roof stadium.
“We love the Panthers and they mean a lot to our community, so of course - we’re always going to listen when they ask," said Susan Harden, a Mecklenburg County Commissioner.
Harden isn’t the only one intrigued by Tepper’s big ideas. Charlotte councilmen Larken Egelston said he’s all ears too.
“This guy has shown that he wants to have the best facilities, best team...he’s going to need partners and the city will certainly be one of those partners,” said Egelston.
Planning for the stadium’s future is in the very early stages. The city hasn’t received a proposal of what construction costs may look like yet. If this idea does become reality, we know Tepper wants your tax dollars to pay for it.
“It’s a hospitality and tourism tax. It’s built into the hotel bills of people who come and visit our city and those dollars can only be used to things that are attracting tourism. So therefore, they are not coming from Charlotte tax payer dollars, they’re coming from visitor’s tax dollars,” said Egelston.
With the first home game of the football season right around the corner, fans are thinking big too.
“With the retractable roof, I think it’ll put us in the running for a super bowl,” said Panther fan Chris Locke.
“Maybe we can have a Super Bowl with the Panthers playing in it in Charlotte,” said Brian Seagroves, another fan.