In his first remarks after being approved as the new owner of the Carolina Panthers, David Tepper called Charlotte the “logical place” for the team.
Tepper has been approved by NFL owners to purchase the team from Jerry Richardson, bringing some resolution to what was a competitive sale process. Throughout that process, there had been questions about what the next owner of the Panthers could decide about the future of the team’s home, Bank of America Stadium. While the downtown Charlotte stadium has received renovations in recent years, there had been speculation about whether a new owner would pursue the construction of a replacement–perhaps even a retractable-roof or domed facility that could host events like the Super Bowl and Final Four.
While his comments did not exactly spell out his long-term plans for Bank of America Stadium, Tepper was clear in his confidence in Charlotte as the team’s home. More from The Charlotte Observer:
“What’s the name of the team? Carolina Panthers. It’s going to be the Carolina Panthers,” he said. “Listen, there is a logical place for this team, and it’s Charlotte, and it is the Carolina Panthers. And that means this team has to have some kind of presence in the Carolinas and last time I saw, how many are there? That’s right, there’s two of them.”
Tepper went on to call Charlotte “the logical place” for the stadium and made a vague reference to the possibility of bringing an MLS team to the city (like Atlanta).
Save for 1995, when they spent their inaugural season at Clemson University’s Memorial Stadium while their permanent facility was under construction, the Panthers have called Charlotte and Bank of America Stadium home throughout their history. What happens to Bank of America Stadium over the long run remains to be seen, but Tepper is indicating for now that Charlotte is the best place for the Panthers. His purchase of the team is expected to close in July.
Image of Bank of America Stadium courtesy Carolina Panthers.