Putting Panthers owner David Tepper’s stadium comments into context

Dean Jones
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) David Tepper
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) David Tepper /

Why people are reading too much into David Tepper’s recent thoughts on a new stadium for the Carolina Panthers.

It’s been a topic at the back of everyone’s minds for a while. The Carolina Panthers are making some ambitious plans away from the gridiron, with team owner David Tepper shelling out a substantial amount of money to make the organization a first-class destination both on and off the field that should stand the test of time.

The Panthers have an exciting new headquarters at Rock Hill under construction, which will be nothing short of jaw-dropping when completed and an industry leader in no uncertain terms.

A possible next step would be moving Carolina from their current Bank of America Stadium into a new facility for games, which was brought up to Tepper during his $500,000 donation to help finish off the outstanding Miracle Park charity project.

The billionaire ruled out the prospect of a dome stadium due to recent COVID-19 health concerns and what might still be to come. Tepper also indicated that if a new stadium was part of his long-term plans for the Panthers, he wouldn’t be fitting all the bill himself.

"“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 owners are [paying] 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.”"

Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper isn’t the first owner to issue such demands.

Tepper isn’t the first owner to outline these sorts of demands before committing to a project this substantial.

And he won’t be the last.

Stadiums do so much more than hold just football games in this day and age. They are complexes more than anything else these days and the additional revenue that comes from this benefits the community an endless amount.

There is nothing wrong with BoA Stadium currently, which is getting a new playing surface to cope with growing demand on it thanks to the presence of Charlotte FC at the same venue.

However, nothing lasts forever and it would be remiss of Tepper and the Panthers to not look at the bigger picture and possible alternatives.

The owner’s comments led some to speculate that if he didn’t get what he wanted from the Carolinas, then Tepper would find somewhere that would.

This is just not happening.

Tepper hasn’t invested the money he has on Rock Hill and other improvements across the organization to simply pack it up and leave town at the first possible chance.

It’s just not smart business.

Tepper has also worked hard to involve himself within the community, which has been overlooked in all this.

He has also been very patient since purchasing the team from Jerry Richardson – not witnessing a winning season as yet – which is another strong indicator he is in it for the long haul and not just instant success.

The Panthers are building something, perhaps for the first time since the mid-2010s. If Sam Darnold makes a better go of things in Carolina than he did with the New York Jets, then the team might become surprise playoff contenders in 2021 if everything clicks into place right away.

Next. 3 reasons the Panthers could surpass preseason expectations in 2021. dark

We live in an overreaction society. A billionaire looking for money isn’t going to go down well – especially in the current climate – but Tepper’s comments probably mean he’s more committed to improving Bank of America Stadium than moving elsewhere when put into a little more context.