July 22, 2024

Charlotte City Council is expected to approve $650 million for Panthers stadium renovations tonight

At a time when free money is getting harder and harder for the NFL’s oligarchs to come by, Panthers owner David Tepper is about to get some.

As in $650 million.

Via Joe Person of TheAthletic.com, Charlotte City Council will vote tonight on the proposal to renovate the 29-year-old stadium where the Panthers play.

Person predicts, based on the “tenor of the meetings during the project’s unveiling and a public forum last week,” that the 11 members of city council “are expected to approve the renovations, likely by a lopsided margin.”

At the risk of having a drink thrown in his face and/or the hat removed from his head, Person says that “the renovations feel like they’re getting shoved down Charlotte’s collective throat.”

But, hey, that’s the best way to pry money from someone’s wallet — especially in a political climate where it’s far more easy to divert taxpayer money to needy billionaires through non-democratic processes. Surely, if the issue were put to a public vote in Charlotte, the proposal would be rejected, likely by a lopsided margin.

Among elected officials, there’s a greater willingness to play ball with those who want to play games in stadiums for which they didn’t pay full freight. Maybe they don’t fear repercussions at the ballot box. Maybe they don’t want to give future opponents the ability to say they’re responsible for a team leaving.

Regardless, Charlotte City Council is about to give $650 million to their carpetbagging bully of a billionaire if only because they fear he’ll move his football and soccer teams to a new city if they don’t.

As long as city councils and county commissions and state legislatures and executives will give people what they want but don’t need, taxpayer money will continue to go to places other than where it’s needed.