Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper seemed to offer hints of his facility ambitions on Tuesday, alluding to the idea of a roof over Bank of America Stadium.
Ever since Tepper completed his purchase of the Panthers last summer, there have been questions about what he will pursue as part of the franchise’s long-term facility plans. A new training complex appears to be the most immediate priority, but it is anticipated that the Panthers will eventually pursue a major Bank of America Stadium renovation or a new facility all together.
Tepper has not offered a firm vision yet, but he alluded to the idea of a Bank of America Stadium roof on Tuesday. The concept would align with the ambitions that state officials have for bringing major events to Charlotte, including the Final Four. More from WSOCTV.com:
Last week, Gov. Roy Cooper said he met with Tepper and talked about potentially hosting college basketball’s Final Four in Charlotte.
Cooper offered his support but Tepper said hosting that big of an event would take more support and a roof over the stadium.
“I’ve said it before — but I would love if we could ever do it to get people to support it — to put some sort of roof in here and have a Final Four in North Carolina,” Tepper said.
All signs have pointed to any Panthers stadium plan being part of an effort to create an environment for major non-football uses, perhaps including an MLS expansion club, but there are a few unknowns at this stage. Putting a fixed or retractable roof over the open-air Bank of America Stadium would be no small feat, and placing a large canopy structure over the seating bowl while leaving the field open to the elements–replicating what the Miami Dolphins did at Hard Rock Stadium–would not be enough to land events like the Final Four that require an indoor environment.
Given those factors, the Panthers will have to carefully consider whether to renovate or replace Bank of America Stadium and figure out how major events like the Final Four fit into those plans. Tepper will also likely his time in determining the cost and feasibility of any options, but his comments for now indicate that any stadium concept could be planned to an ambitious scale.
Image of Bank of America Stadium courtesy Carolina Panthers.
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