CHARLOTTE, N.C. – With Panthers owner Jerry Richardson poised to see the team at the end of the season, there is growing concern about the future of the team and whether it will stay in Charlotte.
On Friday, Governor Roy Cooper weighed in saying, “the Carolina Panthers are critical to the Charlotte area and North Carolina's economy."
Richardson said he was selling the team after allegations were raised that Richardson had sexually harassed female team employees and used a racial slur referring to another employee.
A group being put together by Felix Sabates, a minority owner of the Panthers is preparing to put in an offer for the team.
NBC Charlotte first reported this week that three sources said NASCAR CEO Brian France would be the predominant partner in the group that will want a new domed stadium to attempt to bring a Super Bowl to Charlotte.
Cooper said he was already taking some initial steps to keep any new owner from moving the team.
“What I have done is begun the process of consulting with local leaders here and those in the business community to talk about ways that the state could help."
When asked if that included financing from the state to help build a domed stadium, Cooper said it was too early to say.
“I don't if that's the case. I believe that this team will want to stay in Charlotte,” said the Governor.
Richardson could put the team up for sale as early as Sunday night if the Panthers lose to New Orleans ending their season.