David Tepper must deliver after Carolina Panthers stadium plans approved

The time is now for David Tepper.
David Tepper
David Tepper / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Panthers are staying in Charlotte.

There was some backlash to the franchise's demands for $650 million in public funding to supplement the cost of their lofty renovation plans for Bank of America Stadium. But the Charlotte City Council vote got over the line comfortably by a 7-3 margin.

This drew celebratory scenes from the large Panthers contingent in attendance. The news also came as a welcome relief to fans, who won't hear any more rumors about team David Tepper potentially relocating the team because he didn't get his way.

A lack of transparency and Tepper's previous reputation for being difficult were brought up during the debate. Former player Jonathan Stewart - a Charlotte resident - gave a glowing recommendation for the plans and what they'd mean to the area. When push came to shove, there wasn't enough outcry to outweigh the positives surrounding the project from an economic standpoint.

Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper must deliver on his promises this time

Tepper was thrilled with the outcome based on a statement released on the team's website. The billionaire is keen to build a shared vision moving forward and remain a strong community presence that the region can be proud of.

"Today's vote by the Charlotte City Council is the culmination of many thoughtful discussions with city officials, local leaders, and our fans to create a shared vision for Bank of America Stadium. Nicole and I are grateful for the collaboration and support of the project, as well as our ongoing partnership between Tepper Sports & Entertainment and the city. For nearly 30 years, Charlotte has been the home of the Carolina Panthers and, more recently, Charlotte FC. We are proud to be in the Carolinas and look forward to delivering a venue that meets the needs of our community, players, and fans for years to come."

David Tepper via Panthers.com

The Panthers can begin putting their ambitious project into motion with a 2026 start date planned after a 10-12 month design phase. A new stadium is on the agenda much longer down the line - 2046 to be precise. But for now, Tepper can breathe a sigh of relief.

Tepper has work to do in pursuit of winning people around. He's stayed out of the football operation under Dan Morgan, Brandt Tilis, and Dave Canales. He also reportedly took a back seat in the stadium renovation and practice facility proposals given the low esteem in which he is held following a disastrous ownership stint so far.

Things are looking up at long last. Tepper seeing the error of his ways is a big step in the right direction. We've seen plans fall through and undelivered promises before. Hopefully, this time is different and everyone works in unison to make the Panthers a force on the field and an industry leader away from the gridiron.

Some didn't like it and thought the money would be better spent elsewhere. Those opinions fell on deaf ears. More importantly, it provides Tepper with an opportunity to enhance his floundering legacy and do what he initially promised upon buying the Panthers from Jerry Richardson for a then-record $2.275 billion.

This positive vote is a monumental stepping stone. Tepper has to come through this time.