• 70°

Panthers owner not looking at domed stadium

By Steve Reed

AP Sports Writer

ROCK HILL, S.C. — Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper said he’s no longer considering building a domed stadium in downtown Charlotte in the post-COVID-19 era.

Tepper said in 2019 he hoped to build a retractable roof stadium in Charlotte within the next 10 years, in part to draw other big sporting events to the city like the NCAA men’s basketball Final Four. But Tepper has backed off that idea after the coronavirus pandemic turned the sports world upside down, prompting teams to limit seating for fans last year.

“There is no way in hell I would build a domed stadium in Charlotte, especially after COVID,” Tepper said Tuesday. “The weather is too beautiful and if anything it (COVID-19) shows you it is an advantage to have that kind of (open-air) building.”

Tepper made the remarks following an event in Rock Hill where he and his wife, Nicole, donated $500,000 to Miracle Park, a place where those with special needs can participate in sports. Panthers Charities donated an additional $200,000 to the park, which is set to open in August.

Tepper offered no update on a timetable for when he hopes to build a new stadium in Charlotte, indicating that will largely depend on outside funding from the city and fans. “At some point that building will fall down,” Tepper said of the team’s current downtown stadium, which opened in 1996. “But like I said before, I’m not building a stadium alone. The community is going to have to want it. If I’m (paying) a third, the community is (paying) a third and eventually in the future, and it could be a long way out, the PSL (permanent seat license) owners are a third, that’s a partnership. And if people don’t want it, they don’t want it. I’m not going to force it on anybody.”

Tepper added that the Panthers are content to stay at Bank of America Stadium for now, saying “in the meantime we are trying to make the building we have the best possible building we can have.”

The Panthers are in the midst of several renovations to the stadium, including installing a new turf field in part because the stadium will host a Major League Soccer team, which begins play in 2022. Carolina’s current stadium was built by former Panthers owner and founder Jerry Richardson, with funding coming in part from PSL owners.

As for plans to build a replacement, Tepper said he’s considering two sites — one on the land known as the Charlotte Pipe and Foundry, which is near the current stadium. The other option is tearing down the stadium and building a new one on the same site.

Comments

Coronavirus

New COVID-19 positives in Rowan at lowest point since start of pandemic

Education

Rowan Wild’s animal camp makes a comeback at Dan Nicholas Park

Coronavirus

Health officials say financial incentives helped vaccination rates; lottery drawing today

Granite Quarry

Granite Quarry adopts budget that keeps tax rate flat

Business

Airport Advisory committee endorses plans for expansion at Mid-Carolina Regional

China Grove

China Grove will celebrate 40th Farmers Day with week full of festivities

Sports

Pistons win in NBA draft lottery; Hornets will get 11th pick

Crime

Officers in Locust arrest drivers who tried to flee; one was on motorcycle reported stolen from Rowan

News

Panel OKs NC Senate budget bill; Dems pan policy provisions

News

Letter: Journalist won’t join UNC faculty without tenure

Crime

Chase from Mooresville ends with crash at Rowan Mill Road; two charged

Kannapolis

Dearmons gift two public art sculptures to city of Kannapolis

Crime

Blotter: Woman’s camper stolen from side of I-85

Local

Local scouts sweep NC American Legion awards

Business

As demand lessens slightly, local homebuilders work through challenges to deliver dwellings

Local

Commissioners name Newberry Hall House county’s newest historic landmark

News

Senate budget uses NC revenue boon on more tax cuts, capital

College

Livingstone College alumna Quanera Hayes makes U.S. Olympic Team after first-place finish in 400-meter race

Crime

Blotter: June 21

Ask Us

Ask Us: What is status of ‘speed table’ on Charles Street in Spencer?

Local

East Rowan High graduate killed in motorcycle crash

Local

Political Notebook: Gov. Cooper vetoes Ford-backed bill allowing firearms at churches that are also schools

Crime

Blotter: June 20

News

Body of fourth tuber, age 7, found in North Carolina river