Monday, March 11, 2013

Carolina Panthers in the Welfare Line?

In the 2011 and 2012 season, the Carolina Panthers made a combined $112 million in revenue. After interest expense, their net income was just over $97 million.

With a seemingly healthy financial organization, why would the Panthers be looking to the public for funding?

Because they can.

Professional sports means so much to many cities and the residents of those cities. The constant threat to move a team will scare many people into giving into demands by a team.

The Panthers are looking to renovate Bank of America Stadium at a cost of $250 to $300 million. To pay for the renovations, the Panthers asked Charlotte City Council for $125 million that would help to pay for new escalators, video board improvements and improvements to club boxes and suites. In addition to asking the city for the $125 million, they have also asked for an additional $19 million over 15 years to go toward stadium maintenance and traffic control.

The Panthers have also looked beyond the city for funding. Panthers owner, Jerry Richardson, has also asked the state to contribute $62.5 million. North Carolina Governor, Pat McCrory, said "we don't have the money in the state to address that issue."

In a still recovering economy it is difficult to imagine cities or states using valuable funds to fund stadiums. The Panthers have found a possible source of revenue from the city. Currently the city of Charlotte has a one percent tax for prepared food and beverages. A proposed legislation would double this tax to two percent. This additional revenue for the team would guarantee the Panthers stay in Charlotte for another fifteen years.

Final Thought
Whether or not the Panthers receive funding from the city of Charlotte or the state of North Carolina should not determine the future of the team in the city of Charlotte. The problem of public funding for stadiums go beyond this situation. Many cities have had to pay to keep a professional franchises. It is not right. Team owners use a city for money because they understand the attachment a team has to a city. The job creation and stimulation of the local economy never truly benefit enough to justify funding stadiums for Billionaire owners.

I hate public funding of stadiums.




  1. Now I think I'm gonna write about the Atlanta Falcons since you wrote about this.

    There's nothing more infuriating than sports welfare. It's an egregious example privatizing profits and socializing losses, probably the biggest example in the sports realm. The fact that the Panthers have brought in $100 million IN PROFIT and then turn to a cash-strapped city for money is sickening. I'll stop now so I can save it for Thursday. Nice work, Drew.

    1. Thanks Kevin. Yeah this is one of the most frustrating things in sports. Makes me real mad. Also Zirin's book got me real fired up.