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York County leaders vote on a potential plan to save Panthers training facility

The Panthers would pay for it all up-front. In turn, York County, Rock Hill School District and the City of Rock Hill would pay them back in the form of tax credits.

ROCK HILL, S.C. — York County leaders voted Monday night on a potential plan to save the Carolina Panthers training facility. 

In a last-minute vote, members of the York County Council agreed to bring a new financing offer for the infrastructure on the Rock Hill site. 

Earlier this month, the Panthers said construction on the new practice facility was put on pause after the city didn't pay an installment on the project.

RELATED: Panthers' Rock Hill training facility construction 'paused'

Public records reveal the Panthers had concerns as early as last spring that Rock Hill would not be able to obtain the full amount of loans needed for the project. In a letter to York County Manager David Hudspeth, Carolina Panthers Chief Operating Officer Mark Hart requested the county offer to help Rock Hill.

"We are concerned that without County assistance, the city will not secure the $225,000,000 of bond proceeds," Hart wrote in May 2021.

RELATED: Rock Hill has yet to issue $225M in bonds for Panthers project

Now, York County Council wants to offer the Panthers "special source revenue credits" for financing infrastructure on the site. The Panthers would pay for it all up-front. In turn, York County, Rock Hill School District, and the City of Rock Hill would pay the Panthers back in the form of tax credits.

The resolution, which narrowly passed in a 4-3 vote, wasn't on the agenda. 

Councilmember Bump Roddey told WCNC Charlotte's Indira Eskieva the council needed to make a decision quickly. 

“I’m thankful and glad that our county staff, the City of Rock Hill, and Panthers were able to agree in principle to this new financing option," Roddey said. "I think it’s the right thing to do and certainly the best thing to do in the interest of all taxpayers in York County.”

The Panthers are aware of the offer, Roddey told WCNC Charlotte, but must formally agree before it becomes legally official. 

Last week, Rock Hill Mayor John Gettys said he would be going back to the drawing board with David Tepper and city officials for a new agreement on the training facility. 

RELATED: 'Facts are stubborn things': Rock Hill mayor details construction delay on Panthers headquarters

With the new plan, city and county leaders hope to meet the 2023 deadline for the new facility to open to the public. 

The four yes votes were from Joel Hamilton, Allison Love, Joel Hamilton and Brandon Guffey. The no votes were from Christi Cox, Robert Wrinkler and Tom Audette.

WCNC Charlotte has reached out to Carolina Panthers leadership for comment but as of the time this story was published, we have not heard back. 

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