Report: Panthers Planning To Increase Presence In South Carolina
The Carolina Panthers are planning to have a bigger presence in South Carolina, according to reporting by the Post and Courier. The NFL franchise is reportedly planning to build a new business headquarters and a practice facility just over the state line, south of Charlotte, in York County.
The South Carolina newspaper is reporting that the franchise is looking for a site large enough to accommodate its needs while not being too far from the Bank of America stadium in uptown Charlotte. The newspaper also reports the Panthers are looking to build a mixed-use building that would include stores, hotels and restaurants.
The executive director of the York County Economic Development, David Swenson, said he hasn't heard from anyone at the Panthers about building a practice facility or headquarters in the area. But he added, "we'd love to have them here."
At a York County Regional Chamber of Commerce meeting last month, the play-by-play voice of the Panthers Mick Mixon hinted that a big building project was in the team’s near future.
“What if I told you that a couple hundred acres somewhere near here is going to be purchased very soon?” Mixon said in audio posted on WRHI. “And a state-of-the-art practice facility with restaurants, shopping, banking, condos, apartments, is going to be built? And the business center of the Carolina Panthers will move here?”
He later backtracked his statements in an email to WSOC, “I have no idea if a purchase is imminent or if the stadium will someday feature a roof. I was trying to tell the club, though, that our new owner thinks creatively and ambitiously.”
NFL teams building mixed-use commercial and sports facilities isn’t new. It’s a trend that other franchises have adapted, starting with the New England Patriots 10 years ago. Patriots Place, which is located next to Gillette Stadium, is a development that includes a movie theater, stores, a hotel and a team museum.
The Cowboys, Packers and Vikings have also followed suit with similar developments.
New Panthers owner David Tepper, who bought the team in July for an NFL record $2.2 billion, has voiced desires to upgrade team facilities and make changes to the stadium. He’s said on previous occasions that the current facilities are out of date compared to those of other teams in the league. Despite desires for renovations, Tepper has said he isn’t interested in moving the stadium from its place in the heart of Charlotte.
But Tepper has already started fostering relationships with South Carolina officials. According to multiple reports, Tepper has joined South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster’s inaugural committee as an honorary co-chairman.
The Panthers and York County officials could not be reached for comment Wednesday.