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Rock Hill, S.C. leaders accept county’s financial plan to keep Panthers facility on track

Earlier this month construction at the site came to a standstill after Tepper Sports said the city of Rock Hill didn’t make its initial payment.
Earlier this month construction at the site came to a standstill after Tepper Sports said the city of Rock Hill didn't make its initial payment.
Published: Mar. 29, 2022 at 5:55 AM EDT
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ROCK HILL, S.C. (WBTV) - Rock Hill city leaders are on board with the deal York County made to keep the Carolina Panthers practice facility and headquarters on track.

Earlier this month construction at the site came to a standstill after Tepper Sports said the city of Rock Hill didn’t make its initial payment.

Rock Hill city leaders are on board with the deal York County made to keep the Carolina Panthers practice facility and headquarters on track.

The resolution to support York County’s financial plan wasn’t on the Rock Hill City Council’s meeting agenda for Monday night. However, at the end of the meeting, members went into an executive session.

Afterward, WBTV obtained a copy of a resolution that essentially says members support moving forward with the new financial plan outlined in the county’s resolution.

“For years, the City has contractually and otherwise, provided substantial cooperation, entitlements, financial and other incentives for the Project. The City supports the restarting of the construction and developments of the Project and the goals of the County Resolution,” the Rock Hill City Council’s resolution read in part.

In a statement, York County leaders expressed their appreciation to the Rock Hill City Council for its unanimous support of the resolution at Monday’s meeting.

“York County is eager to see this landmark project move forward, and construction to begin again at the site,” county leaders said. “We will continue to work diligently with our partners in the City and the Carolina Panthers to make this development a success.”

Last week, the York County Council proposed a deal that would have the Panthers and Tepper Sports fronting the money for the practice facility and headquarters in exchange for tax credits. They’d also get more time to finish the project.

Related: County votes on plan to help Panthers development in Rock Hill

The original deal called for the City of Rock Hill to pay $20 million and essentially borrow $225 million in bonds which were never issued. The $800 million facility was supposed to be finished in 2023, but it’s not clear whether that’s still the timeline.

This deal only includes the practice facility and team headquarters. It doesn’t include any other hotels, restaurants or offices.

The next step is that David Tepper needs to sign off on the deal. So far, despite repeated attempts, the organization hasn’t commented on the county’s proposed financial plan.

NFL owners are in Florida this week for meetings and WBTV’s news partners at the Rock Hill Herald say Tepper refused to speak about the team on the record.

In Oct 2020, the Carolina Panthers revealed renderings of their new headquarters and practice facility coming to Rock Hill.

It was a joint reveal from the Panthers, York County, and the City of Rock Hill. The mixed-use site was designed to host Tepper Sports & Entertainment and become a destination for people all over the region.

When completed, the development is expected to include restaurants, retail, a healthcare facility, apartments, hotels, trails, and office space.

The facility is also set to include a 120,000-square-foot indoor practice facility, a 113,000-square-foot multi-purpose sports and entertainment venue, and outdoor practice fields. The indoor practice field features 80-foot tall operable glass doors and can host athletic events and games, concerts, and other corporate events.

Among the team’s amenities will be a 20,000 square-foot weight room, a 6,000 square-foot locker room, and a 5,000 square-foot hydrotherapy room to aid players’ rehab and recovery.

Key public-facing areas within the development site are highlighted by “The Park.” That is the 5,000-seat outdoor, multipurpose stadium designed to host events like high school football games, soccer games, concerts, and more.

“The Grove” is the open space within the site that has a series of reflecting pools, lighting, and landscape.

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