Rezoning petition could pave way for new Panthers stadium

Carolina Panthers

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE)– A rezoning petition filed this week could pave the way for a new stadium for the Carolina Panthers, if the city approves it and the team wants the land.

Team owner David Tepper has said publicly he wants a new stadium. The problem is there’s not a lot of room left for uptown development in Charlotte. The biggest piece of property remaining, Charlotte Pipe and Foundry, could be the last major site to be transformed.

“If one were to think about building a professional football stadium in Charlotte, certainly that piece of land would be a very valuable piece of property to own to accomplish that,” said Charlotte City Councilmember Malcom Graham.

The land falls within his district.

“It’s a large parcel of land that’s in close proximity to the current Panthers stadium,” said Graham, who believes conversations between Tepper and Charlotte Pipe and Foundry are almost certainly taking place. “More than enough space for a new NFL stadium if one would chose to build one there.”

The 55-acre land sits across the street from Bank of America stadium. Charlotte Pipe and Foundry has owned it for more than 100 years. The company announced its plans to move to Stanly County citing growth and employees who live in the area.

FOX 46 asked Charlotte Pipe and Foundry if the Panthers have asked about acquiring the land.

“We do not have specific development plans for the property,” said Charlotte Pipe and Foundry spokesperson Towanda Long. “But the UMUD [Uptown Mixed Use District] zoning district provides flexibility to accommodate a wide variety of uses and development concepts.”

The Panthers aren’t commenting. At the MLS announcement in 2019, Tepper said the current stadium could be “stretched” for a few more years.

“It’s not that the new stadium couldn’t last longer and would could probably stretch it out another 10 or so years,” said Tepper. “At some point it’s going to be problematic because the way that thing’s constructed.”

The land also falls in Councilwoman Victoria Watlington’s district.

“At this point, based on the preliminary information provided, I understand the residents of nearby Wilmore and adjacent neighborhoods are hopeful this will lead to thoughtful development of an additional entertainment district to enjoy,” she said, “that complements the historic preservation of the community.”

Graham says a decision on rezoning will likely happen before the summer.

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