CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Panthers owner, Jerry Richardson, has been lobbying lawmakers across the county and the state for taxpayer funds to help renovate Bank of America Stadium. Meanwhile, as Deadspin has reported, the team made $112 million in profit over the last two years.
According to an audited financial statement obtained by Deadspin, for the fiscal year March 31, 2011 through March 31, 2012, the Panthers had an operating profit of $78.7 million, despite a heartbreaking season for so many Panthers fans—the team finished that season 2-14.
The following year, Deadspin reports the Panthers brought in $33 million in operating profit.
Late Thursday the Panthers released a statement saying, "The Deadspin story presents an incomplete picture of the Carolina Panthers profitability. The figures offer an isolated snapshot of the team’s financial situation during an unusual time as the NFL lockout loomed." Red the full statement.
The reported cost of the stadium renovations is upwards of $250 million.
In January, the Charlotte City Council endorsed a proposal for stadium renovations that would give the Carolina Panthers $125 million. The vote passed 7-2. The proposed plan would increase food and beverage taxes 1-percent to fund the project. If the tax increase is approved, the overall sales for restaurant and bar purchases inside the city limits would increase to 9.25-percent.
On Tuesday, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory announced that the state would not make money available for the team. The Panthers reportedly asked the state for $62.5 million towards the $250 million renovation.
“We don’t have the money in the state to address that issue,” McCrory told the Observer Monday. “I have never been actually asked for the $62 million, nor do we have it.”
McCrory also said the team doesn’t qualify for an incentive grant from the state Commerce department
Late Thursday night, in response to the Deadspin report, the Panthers released this statement.
The Charlotte Observer contributed to this report.