A potential move of an Uptown Charlotte foundry to suburban Stanly County could free up 55 acres for a new Charlotte Panthers stadium down the road.
Though improvements on Bank of America Stadium to host MLS soccer are in the works, it’s no secret Panthers owner David Tepper and local leaders have talked up the prospect of a new Uptown domed stadium a la Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta: a multipurpose facility that can also host big events like Final Four tournaments and Super Bowls. And the Charlotte Pipe and Foundry site has been mentioned in the past as a potential site for such a new Charlotte Panthers stadium.
With Stanly County offering $35 million to lure Charlotte Pipe and Foundry outside of Charlotte, a move would free up 55 acres on South Clarkson Street, a few blocks from Bank of America Stadium.
If the land sale happens, the next step in the discussions will be whether to move forward on a new stadium, who would pay for it and how it fits into a larger entertainment district. The Charlotte Pipe foundry site is across I-277 from Bank of America Stadium, right on the edge of the trendy South End area and adjacent to the Gateway District and Uptown. From the Charlotte Observer:
“If we can do something (in uptown), we would do that. To have something in Charlotte is great,” Tepper said about the new stadium in July. “If we can do it someplace near where we are, where so many people can walk to it, that’s a great place for a stadium. So you’d like it to be as close as where you are as you could in the future.
“There is different land around, so we may have to do something (elsewhere), But again it’s going to (have to) be with the city. We can’t do stuff by ourselves.”
The city’s $110 million MLS contribution could also be used for building an entertainment district that links uptown and the Gateway District. Tepper has been vocal about wanting to create an entertainment area near the stadium, similar to what’s been done in other cities, like Pittsburgh.
Of course, we’re still early in this process; after all, Charlotte Pipe and Foundry hasn’t yet negotiated a move out of the city. But there’s been a lot of work done on a potential new Panthers stadium since Tepper’s purchase of the team, so this is hardly an overnight development.
Photo of Bank of America Stadium courtesy Carolina Panthers.
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