South Carolina lawmakers have approved $115 million in tax breaks for a Carolina Panthers headquarters, paving the way for a major facilities project.
In their planning of long-term facility upgrades under owner David Tepper, the Panthers have sought to build a modern headquarters and training complex. Rock Hill–located just south of Charlotte–has been targeted as a preferred location, with the organization expected to purchase up to 200 acres of land for the project.
As part of their effort to secure the complex, South Carolina lawmakers had been debating a bill that provides the Panthers with $115 million in state tax breaks. Although some officials objected to the economics of the plan, the incentives officially moved forward after lawmakers approved a final version of the legislation on Monday. It is expected to be signed into law by South Carolina governor Henry McMaster, who has been a proponent of the proposal. More from The State:
“The win for South Carolina is incredible,” said House Majority Leader Gary Simrill, R-York, adding the $200 million project will add to Rock Hill’s reputation as “Football City USA.”
The 25-year-old football franchise plans to purchase up to 200 acres of Rock Hill land and break ground later this year on a massive, state-of-the-art sports complex. The project will feature a new team headquarters, a sports medicine facility and two practice facilities, including an indoor one with up to 10,000 seats.
State and local leaders say it will rival the top sports hubs anywhere in the country, sparking the development of hotels, shops and residential projects along Interstate Highway 77 in York County. To that end, they have pledged to spend $40 million of taxpayer dollars to build a new I-77 interchange providing access to the expected Panthers’ site, located between Dave Lyle Boulevard and Eden Terrace.
Top lawmakers say the federal government will chip in about $20 million for that project, while the state pitches in $12.5 million and the city of Rock Hill contributes the remaining $7.5 million. The Panthers are not expected to help pay for it.
The Panthers are aiming to begin construction later this year, and open the facility in 2022. A training complex is not the only facility plan the Panthers could pursue in the coming years, as the organization could also make substantial renovations to Uptown Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium.
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