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Securing Public Funding For Stadiums A Mixed Bag For NFL Teams

  • The Panthers are mulling the future of Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.
  • Public funding is becoming a determining factor for moving projects forward.
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
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Public funding has never been more of a make-or-break issue for NFL teams and stadium projects. With the exception of the privately financed, $5 billion-plus SoFi Stadium, securing taxpayer money is the major issue to moving forward. 

The Carolina Panthers are quickly becoming a prominent example of funding problems stalling new work on facilities. 

North Carolina’s Mecklenburg County has said it won’t offer any money to the Panthers in support of team owner David Tepper plans to either build a new stadium or bring major renovations to 27-year-old Bank of America Stadium. Matters are further complicated by the fact that the city of Charlotte could still offer the Panthers funding.

In 2022, Tepper’s plans for an $800 million training facility and headquarters in nearby Rock Hill, South Carolina, crashed and burned in dramatic fashion. 

Carolina’s potential issues are just the latest for an NFL team — and franchises can explore many different solutions. 

The Chicago Bears are struggling to find a local partner to help with a new stadium in a saga involving cities throughout Illinois. In contrast, the Tennessee Titans will receive a record $1.25 billion in public funding for a new stadium, while the Buffalo Bill will get $850 million for their stadium set to open in 2026.

In Jacksonville, the Jaguars are contemplating a 50-50 split between public funds and the team regarding more than $1 billion in upgrades to TIAA Bank Field. Meanwhile, a top priority for new Washington Commanders owner Josh Harris is a new stadium — which could end up in D.C., Virginia, or Maryland.

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