Tillis: No state money for Panthers stadium

Posted January 29, 2013

A general view of Bank of America Stadium and the Charlotte skyline prior to a game between the Cincinnati Bearcats and the Duke Blue Devils during the Belk Bowl on December 27, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Lance King)

— North Carolina should not put state tax dollars into the Carolina Panthers stadium in Charlotte but could vote to authorize a rise in the local sales tax, House Speaker Thom Tillis said Tuesday.

During a news conference with reporters in Raleigh, Tillis was asked whether he had met with Panthers owner Jerry Richardson.

"Every month, I probably have an opportunity to meet two or three times with major businesses in North Carolina that are considering moving somewhere else, and that is a very real possibility for the Panthers," said Tillis, R-Mecklenburg. He added, "They create some 4,400 direct jobs, and some 1,500 indirect jobs. They are a major employer in North Carolina."

Tillis described discussions with the team as "preliminary" but said he has taken one avenue for state support out of the discussion.

"I've been clear with the Panthers organization that it is not appropriate to have state taxpayer dollars go directly into the stadium," Tillis said.

Earlier this month, the Charlotte City Council voted 7-2 to back a $125 million public investment in Bank of America Stadium. That plan would raise local sales taxes on prepared food and beverage.


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  • SaveEnergyMan Jan 31, 2013

    If the Charlotte city council want a local tax then so be it. The Charlotte voters will have their say in the next election. I am pretty confident that most NC voters would decline to help.

    Pro-teams are good at blackmailing cities into building facililties for these teams, while the owners, players, and coaches make absurbly high salaries. The teams do bring in tax revenue, but they also create a burden through additional infrastructure to service the stadium, roads, and traffic control / policing. Perhaps the city should insist on a guaranteed return/share of the profits, to insure the investment pays back to the citizens.

  • I Can Only Imagine Jan 30, 2013

    dsalter - you have the history exactly correct. I have family that works there. I guess we can add those 5,900 employees to the Unemployment List and use our tax dollars to pay them that way!!! Either way - we use our tax dollars to help them work or pay them do not work!

  • driverkid3 Jan 30, 2013

    When they let the taxpayers see the games for free, then and ONLY then would it be ok for them to ream the taxpayers for the cost.

  • dsalter Jan 29, 2013

    Bank of America stadium was fully funded with private funds...unlike the other venues in the state which were funded by different sources. Jerry Richardson fired his two sons a few years ago and has said the team will be sold at his death. That said, the city of Charlotte has no money in the team. By investing in the team, that will keep the team in Charlotte. That's one reason the mayor has asked for a tax increase on meals and such to pay for it. That's local...not in Raleigh. For the most part, the team funded the stadium with the sale of PSL's and was the first in the NFL to do so.

  • davidgnews Jan 29, 2013

    I'm for the Panthers but agree with Tillis on this one.

  • sckinton60 Jan 29, 2013

    I thought SuperScam Newton was a bad idea. I wouldn't go see him play if the tix were free!

  • Mr. Middle of the Road Jan 29, 2013

    It doesn't sound to me like the Panthers were asking for state money. Thom wouldn't be postulating would he?

  • iron fist Jan 29, 2013

    BOA can pay for any upgrades with the fees they charge their customers

  • StunGunn Jan 29, 2013

    I agree that tax dollars should NOT be spent on improving a football stadium. The NFL - and the Panthers Organization - are a "For Profit" business, so let them take the money out of their profits to pay for the stadium, NOT my wallet.

  • iron fist Jan 29, 2013

    I agree Pseudonym Bank of America should pay, they could pay with all the fees they charge their customers, I am not a Panther fan (would like to see them win) but I do not want to pay for any upgrades with my tax $$