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'I'm not building a stadium alone': David Tepper wants help funding new Panthers stadium

Panthers owner David Tepper is ready to replace the aging Bank of America Stadium. But he doesn't want to pay for it all himself.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper spoke Tuesday about the possibility of a new stadium for his team, as well as how it would be paid for and what it might look like. 

Tepper talked with the media during an appearance in Rock Hill, where the Panthers announced a generous donation to Miracle Park, which is a 15-acre facility for athletes with special needs. 

First thing's first. If, or perhaps when is more appropriate, the Panthers build a new stadium, it won't be a dome. In 2019, Tepper floated the idea of putting a retractable roof over Bank of America Stadium or building a new domed stadium in hopes of attracting other major events, like the Final Four or College Football Playoff. 

Tepper's actual words were, "there's no way in hell," so forget about it, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"The weather is too beautiful," Tepper said. "If anything, [COVID-19] shows you it's really an advantage to have an open building." 

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Originally, Tepper's goal was to have a new stadium within five to 10 years. On Tuesday, he didn't provide an update on that timeline. 

And then there's the billion-dollar question. Who would pay for a new stadium for the Panthers? Tepper, whose net worth is north of $14 billion, according to Forbes, said he won't shoulder the cost alone. 

"You know, at some point that building [Bank of America Stadium] will fall down," Tepper said. "I said it before and I'll say it again. I'm not building a stadium alone. The community's going to have to want it."

Bank of America Stadium, which opened in 1996, is currently one of the oldest venues in the NFL. The Panthers, as well as Tepper's newest franchise, Charlotte FC, have made upgrades to the stadium to enhance the fan experience. 

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As for the location of a new stadium, Tepper seems happy with Uptown Charlotte, saying a new facility could be built on top of the existing stadium. Should that be the case, the Panthers would need a temporary home for a season or two. The team played home games during the inaugural 1995 season at Clemson's Memorial Stadium. 

Then there's also the Charlotte Pipe and Foundry location just across I-277 from Bank of America Stadium. Last year, the company announced it would move operations to Oakboro in Stanly County, and Tepper has interest in that plot of land, which could keep the team in Uptown, even during construction.