A franchise quarterback isn't the only thing the Panthers are struggling to secure. A month after halting construction on $800 million state-of-the-art headquarters and training facilities in Rock Hill, South Carolina, team owner David Tepper has pulled the plug on the entire project, according to WCNC Charlotte. Tepper's GT Real Estate Holdings confirmed Tuesday that it would be terminating its agreement with the City of Rock Hill to complete the project after a failure to resolve funding issues.
The proposed new facility, whose construction site had been left dormant, broke ground in 2020, just two years after Tepper took ownership of the Panthers. Designed to house a nearly 700,000-square-foot facility on a 240-acre site, complete with an indoor practice field rivaling the Cowboys' famous Frisco, Texas, headquarters, the project was first delayed due to COVID-19. In March, WCNC reported that Rock Hill failed to secure $225 million in bonds to fund roads, sidewalks and other public infrastructure on the site, prompting Tepper's company to pause construction.
Most recently slated for 2023 completion, the facilities now sit empty and half-finished, despite Panthers.com still advertising Rock Hill as the future home to "not only include a world-class sports complex, but also ... a true destination site for the entire region, offering entertainment, dining, retail, athletics and medical care."
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The team remains indefinitely headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, with Tepper's company suggesting in a statement to WCNC that further conversations will be had with Rock Hill to determine what lies ahead.
"On February 26, 2021, the City of Rock Hill became delinquent on their obligation to fund the public infrastructure," the statement reads. "Despite our persistent efforts throughout 2021, the City of Rock Hill failed to issue the bonds or provide the funding for the public infrastructure for the project ... It is unfortunate that some recently decided to conduct a misguided, destructive public relations campaign to obscure their failures. We have sent notices to the City to formally terminate the previous agreements. Accordingly, we are prepared to sit down with the City and other interested parties to discuss the significant challenges ahead."