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CAUTION Urges Restraint for Public Funding of Panthers

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Bank of America Stadium

Common Americans United to Inspire OUR Nation (CAUTION) announced today that the organization is actively encouraging its members and fellow citizens to proactively contact local and state elected officials to voice opposition to reports that public subsidies may be made available to the Carolina Panthers NFL Football franchise.

CAUTION President Dennis Peterson voiced his position on the possibility, “It is a matter of principle that government restrict it’s initiatives solely to the most limited infrastructure requirements of civil society.  Providing the necessities while keeping taxes and regulations to a minimum is the correct recipe for economic growth.  Providing particular benefits to one organization at the expense of another is reprehensible and beyond the scope of responsible government.”

The Carolina Panthers franchise was purchased by Mr. Jerry Richardson and his ownership group for $206 million in 1993.  Today the Panthers have increased in value to $1.05 billion and are ranked by Forbes as the 13th most valuable sports franchise in America.

Despite the financial success of the Panthers, a February article in the Charlotte Business Journal quoted James Mitchell, Chairman of the Charlotte City Council’s economic development committee, discussing the possibility of public support for the Panthers, “We just know there’s a need, there’s a role for the city.  They [the Panthers] would like the city to participate in some type of new development. We just don’t know what that is.”

In a November 11, 2012 posting on ESPN.com, an unnamed source told reporter Pat Yasninkas that the only scenario in which Richardson would listen to an offer to move the Panthers to another city would be if Charlotte balked at helping him with stadium renovations.

CAUTION’S Peterson continued, “There is no doubt that movement is underway to construct a specific ask for public financing.  We don’t know when or to what extent that ask will be, but we do know that Mr. Richardson has engaged a sports architect, Populous, and two other firms to develop a 10-year master stadium renovation plan due by the end of the current season.  It is likely that when the plan is presented, it will include a request for public money, so our timing here at making the public aware is critical.”

He concluded, “Our economy is still hurting, families are struggling to make ends meet.  Providing the people’s money to a profitable billion dollar sports empire is absolutely wrong.”

The following link contains the contact information for Charlotte City Council Members.  Click HERE.

As the State may become involved, contacting the Speaker of the House Thom Tillis and Senator Phil Berger, President Pro Tempore of the NC Senate, is also encouraged.

NC House of Representatives District 98
Thom Tillis REP
PO Box 32186
Charlotte, NC  28232
704-248-2980
Thom.Tillis@ncleg.net

NC Senate District 26
Phil Berger
P.O. Box 1309
Eden, NC 27289-1309 
(919) 733-5708
Phil.Berger@ncleg.net

 

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