Records: Panthers file application to potentially alter Uptown practice facility

City of Charlotte records show a rezoning administrative amendment application was filed on Monday.
Charlotte city records showed the Panthers submitted a rezoning administrative amendment application this week.
Published: Nov. 7, 2023 at 5:29 PM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Recently filed records have revealed that Tepper Sports & Entertainment (TSE) submitted an application that could potentially alter the Carolina Panthers’ training facility on the edge of uptown Charlotte.

City of Charlotte records show a rezoning administrative amendment application was filed on Monday for a plot of land along Cedar Street. Records indicate the amendment references a rezoning petition that was approved for the same 8.6-acre parcel in March 2019, weeks before the Panthers began construction of their indoor practice bubble.

According to the application filed this week, the purpose in requesting an amendment is to “provide the option for additional outdoor practice fields, relocate parking area from along Cedar Street to a location farther internal to the site, and accessory building(s) along the railroad/southeastern portion of the site.”

Records show the Panthers are requesting an amendment to a previously approved rezoning petition.
Records show the Panthers are requesting an amendment to a previously approved rezoning petition.(Polaris 3G)

When contacted for a statement, a TSE spokesperson said the amendment application is part of the Panthers’ “strategic vision for [their] facilities.”

“This is a step in the process that gives us options for what we may decide to do in the future,” the spokesperson said. “We expect more of these administrative processes as part of our due diligence.”

Based on Charlotte city documents, administrative amendments are subject to the planning director’s approval. A city official said the application review process will take around 15 business days and the application will not go through the City Council.

City documents state that the standard for approving administrative amendments is that the requested change to the area “does not significantly alter the site plan or its conditions and that the change does not have a significant impact upon abutting properties.”

According to the document, “significant changes” include those that increase the number of buildings on a parcel, or reduce parking spaces below minimum standards.

Aerial views of the facility in its current state show one full-length football field running along the West 3rd Street border of the parcel, along with additional partial fields and the indoor practice bubble. A parking lot is also visible just off Cedar Street.

The southernmost portion of the area, bordered by the railroad tracks and stretching toward Bank of America Stadium, is currently a grassy area with a sidewalk leading from the stadium toward the bubble and parking lot.

TSE’s most recent move is the latest in a series of facility endeavors. In 2020, the team announced plans and renderings to construct a massive state-of-the-art practice facility and entertainment venue in Rock Hill. After a series of events, construction was halted, the land was listed for sale and the incomplete facility began to be demolished and was blasted.

Prior to the cancellation of the plans, the facility had been expected to open this year. It was viewed as an opportunity for the Panthers to increase its football presence in South Carolina, something it has largely lacked with the exception of its yearly training camp stop at Wofford.

In another venture, TSE’s Charlotte FC sought to redevelop the former Eastland Mall site in east Charlotte. Those plans fell through as well. David Tepper’s MLS club would later build its headquarters and training facility on McAlpine Park Drive and just opened it last month.

Since Tepper purchased the Panthers in 2018, Carolina has posted a 30-60 record and has failed to make the playoffs each season.

Related: Blasting begins at failed Carolina Panthers facility in Rock Hill

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