CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Team owner David Tepper has mentioned many times that he wants a new stadium for the Carolina Panthers.
WCNC Charlotte found out that Tepper isn't just talking about it -- but actively meeting with stadium architects.
“We know David," said Bryan Trubey of HKS Architects in Dallas. "We know him well. He’s been in our office here.”
Trubey and HKS are leading designers of NFL stadiums whose projects include the home of the Dallas Cowboys, and the $5 billion Rams stadium in Los Angeles which opens in June.
“We’ve created the highest-value buildings in the NFL period," said Trubey.
Trubey says about a year ago, Carolina owner David Tepper and Chief Operating Officer Mark Hart were in his office – where he showed them what the Panthers could have if they gave HKS the project.
Renderings including a translucent roof – similar to the one HKS built for the Minnesota Vikings.
"We’ve walked him through a number of things we’ve been involved with," said Trubey, who expects the relationship with Tepper and the Panthers to continue.
Despite Bank of America Stadium being one of the oldest in the NFL, Trubey says recent renovations have made it feasible to renovate it and add a roof.
Tepper may opt for a brand new building, and has even mentioned the nearby 55-acre Pipe & Foundry site as an option.
But one thing is clear – an Uptown location is the most beneficial.
“Making that a more powerful connection is something that adds huge value to these properties,” said Trubey.
But there will be a price for that value. The last seven NFL stadiums cost an average of nearly $2 billion. Tepper, who already requested and received $110 million from Charlotte for MLS-related upgrades, has made it clear he’s not going to foot the entire bill.
“These things are not just me," Tepper said recently at a charity event. "People here have to agree to do things or want to do things.”
Tepper will likely ask for public funding – the question is how much.
The last 10 NFL stadiums were on average about 34 percent publicly financed, with an average of 66 percent private financing.
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