Reports are suggesting that the Carolina Panthers could construct a new practice facility and headquarters in South Carolina, with York County a potential landing spot.
Under new owner David Tepper, who purchased the team from Jerry Richardson earlier this year, the Panthers have been expected to make facility upgrades. That could eventually include a replacement of or major renovation to Bank of America Stadium in downtown Charlotte, but for now the club appears to be more focused on building a new practice facility/team headquarters. The complex would serve as a replacement for the current open-air practice facility near Bank of America Stadium, while providing new office spaces for the organization.
The Charleston Post & Courier reported Wednesday that the Panthers plan to build a complex surrounded by mixed-use development in York County, and that the sprawling site of the demolished Knights Stadium–former home of baseball’s Charlotte Knights (Class AAA; International League)–was under consideration as a location. A report from the Charlotte Observer found that the Panthers have not been in contact with York County Economic Development, but that officials in the suburban county would be interested in working with the team:
But the York agency “would be interested in talking” with the team, said the group’s director, David Swenson. The group worked with the Charlotte Knights when that team had its stadium in York County, as well as the Charlotte Hornets when the team had its practice facilities in Fort Mill, S.C.
“We’re open for business,” Swenson said.
Britt Blackwell, chairman of the York County Council, also said he has not spoken with anyone with the Panthers. “We do everything we can to recruit business from throughout the nation, and certainly welcome any business from Charlotte to come to York County,” Blackwell said.
A Panthers South Carolina practice facility could strengthen the team’s presence in the state, and do so without negating any stadium plans in Charlotte. Though the club’s long-term stadium plans remain to be seen, Tepper has previously referred to Charlotte as the “logical place” for the team. There are also numerous NFL squads that play home games in major urban centers, but place their training complexes in more suburban locations, so the Panthers would be following a common model.
Image of Bank of America Stadium courtesy Carolina Panthers.
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