The Carolina Panthers announced on Tuesday that they notified a South Carolina city slated to be the home for the NFL team’s new $800 million headquarters that they would “formally terminate the previous agreements.”
Construction in Rock Hill was put on hold last month after the city missed another payment toward the $225 million of promised infrastructure costs of the development.
The Panthers released a statement noting it was “unfortunate that some recently decided to conduct a misguided, destructive public relations campaign to obscure their failures.” Rock Hill Mayor John Gettys said the city “did everything to make this project a success and has not defaulted on any of our obligations.”
Can It Be Salvaged?
Tuesday’s statements from the Panthers and Rock Hill also hinted at further negotiations.
- The Panthers said they “are prepared to sit down with the city and other interested parties to discuss the significant challenges ahead.”
- A Rock Hill spokesperson said that city officials “are encouraged the Panthers may now be willing to meet and look forward to resolving any and all outstanding issues.”
- Panthers owner David Tepper’s real estate holding company had already invested more than $170 million into the project.
The sticking point remains Rock Hill’s reluctance to issue bonds that would cover the infrastructure costs. In the agreement provided to Front Office Sports, the city is required to use its “reasonable best efforts to issue bonds.”