Feb 29, 2024 - Development

Panthers plan to build new practice and field house facilities in Uptown

Construction on the Carolina Panthers practice site in Uptown Charlotte.

Carolina Panthers practice field renovations, which don't require rezoning, are underway in Uptown. Photo: Ashley Mahoney/Axios

The Carolina Panthers want to redevelop their practice facilities in Uptown.

The big picture: The plans are part of Tepper Sports and Entertainment's vision to move the Panthers training camp from Wofford College in Spartanburg, S.C., to Charlotte.

Why it matters: For decades, Panthers fans have descended on Spartanburg during the late summer months to watch their team prepare for the upcoming season. Training camp routinely draws thousands of fans.

Driving the news: The team submitted rezoning plans to the city earlier this week for their existing practice fields at 325 S. Cedar St., next to Bank of America Stadium. Plans for the site, which encompasses 11.9 acres, call for:

  • Practice facilities and a field house. There would be indoor seating, up to 5,000 seats for outdoor seating periodically. Everything would be tied to training camp and other special events, but it wouldn't be a year-round site.
  • Plans also call for temporary restaurant and bar use, plus mobile food and retail vendor use (think food trucks and merchandise being available during events like training camp on-site).
  • The rezoning filing includes property along the railroad tracks facing the city skyline. The plans would not interfere with the 70-foot Charlotte Area Transit System's right-of-way, which extends to Fourth Street.

Catch up quick: The Panthers recently tore down the Atrium Health Dome. Field enhancements, which do not require rezoning, are underway and will be complete in time for training camp. There will be up to three fields. At least two practice fields have been grass in the past.

  • The indoor practice facility with a turf field was always intended to be temporary.
  • Plus, training camp was previously expected to take place in Rock Hill at the team's new headquarters, but the project was abandoned, resulting in months of legal action.
  • The existing practice fields have been used to host smaller events, like high school football clinics and competitions.

What we're watching: While the rezoning request gives a general idea of what's to come, several questions remain:

  • Will this be ready for the start of training camp this summer?
  • Will construction impact mini camp or OTAs?
  • What is the estimated cost of the project and will it be funded entirely by TSE or will it be a public-private collaboration?

What they're saying: "The rezoning filing is a necessary step as we work through the strategic vision for our facilities," a TSE spokesperson said in a statement. "It will enable us to pursue enhancements and modifications to the practice fields with the goal of constructing a field house for football operations and community opportunities like training camp."

The big picture: This is one of many changes to come for the Panthers. Charlotte leaders expect TSE to ask for a public investment in Bank of America Stadium this year, as Axios' Alexandria Sands reported.

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