David Tepper to purchase Panthers pending league approval
The home of the Carolina Panthers, Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina, nearly straddles the South Carolina border. It turns out, if at least one of the bidders on the Panthers had their way, the team’s next home would’ve crossed over the border into South Carolina, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
On Tuesday, Rapoport reported that at least one of the potential owners of the Panthers wanted to move the team to South Carolina. However, as CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora has reported, David Tepper is set to become the new owner of the Panthers for a reported price of $2.2 billion, and he is not expected to move the team away from Charlotte, which gave him an edge in the process.
"(Tepper), as you mentioned, is committed to keeping this team in Carolina. That was a big thing for him. He’s expected to make some stadium enhancements. … Certainly not a new stadium right now, but the team is expected to stay there," Rapoport said. "Meanwhile, I’m told there was at least one potential owner who wanted to move the team to South Carolina. That was something Jerry Richardson was not having — something that helped him settle on Tepper."
From Up to the Minute: Here are the next steps for soon-to-be #Panthers owner David Tepper, along with what we know about his intentions. pic.twitter.com/4IhWxGlN9G
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 15, 2018
According to the Charlotte Observer, there were four known bidders on the Panthers. It’s not known which of the four bidders wanted to move the team.
I’ve been to North Carolina once in my life, and it was for like two days when I was 18, so I am not at all familiar with the area. Thankfully, my colleague Will Brinson lives in North Carolina. So, I asked him about the idea of the team moving to South Carolina. Let’s just say that Brinson didn’t think it was a good idea.
"This is patently absurd," Brinson said. "Not the report, but the idea that someone wants to take a professional football team out of Charlotte, one of the biggest metropolitan areas in the entire South, and shove it into any city in South Carolina. Not only would you be unnecessarily moving a professional franchise an hour south or an hour west — it’s either Columbia or Greenville we’re talking here — but you would very quickly eliminate an entire state’s worth of your fanbase by virtue of taking the team south of the border."
So, the Panthers fanbase seemingly won’t now have to worry about a relocation after a selling process that only began when team owner Jerry Richardson was accused of workplace misconduct in December. Instead, it sounds like Tepper will try to upgrade Bank of America Stadium in the near future. On Tuesday, the Charlotte Observer reported that "Charlotte has set aside $75 million for a second round of renovations to Bank of America Stadium — but that money isn’t available for four years."