ROCK HILL, S.C. — Time on the game clock has Run out, but it seems the Carolina Panthers will be moving its headquarters to South Carolina after the state Senate passed a bill that will give the NFL team roughly $115 million in tax incentives.
It was down to the last few hours before senators voted in favor of the bill by a 27-15 margin. Both Democrats and Republicans were seen on each sideline of the bill.
The vote came after about three hours of debate surrounding S.655, known as the Panthers Bill.
It's been a long road to try and bring the team's headquarters and a practice facility to Rock Hill, South Carolina in York County.
"We're willing to do whatever we need to do from a county standpoint to make this transition as seamless as possible," said William "Bump" Roddey, a York County councilman.
The news of the Senate passing the bill was welcomed news to Roddey and Rock Hill Mayor John Gettys.
Roddey said he's already looking forward to the impacts the new campus could bring to his county.
"Once it gets on the ground, everything else is going to pop up around the facility as far as apartments, living quarters, restaurants, tourist attractions -- because people are going to want to come and walk the grounds that the Panthers are headquartered on," he added.
A similar bill was passed before in the House. The two bills differed slightly, so now lawmakers will go to a conference committee later in the month to work out the details. It's likely the bill will eventually pass.
"We're familiar and we're used to carrying the spotlight and I think this further solidifies the two states, one team theory because now the headquarters will hopefully be in South Carolina and the team playing in North Carolina," Roddey said. "It really validates that two states, one team concept that they've been pushing for the last 20 years."
Once the details are worked out in a conference committee, the bill would head to Governor McMaster's desk for him to sign.
The governor has already been vocal about his support for the bill.
Rock Hill's mayor said he's ready to get to work.
"David Tepper (owner of the Carolina Panthers) or his people are going to call me up and say, hey mayor, you're 90 days behind schedule, let's get going. And we're ready for that call," Gettys said.