Carolina Panthers pull the plug on construction of $800 million headquarters, training center in Rock Hill

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Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper has pulled the plug on the entire project to build a $800 million headquarters and training facilities for the team in Rock Hill, South Carolina, according to WCNC Charlotte.

Tepper’s GT Real Estate Holdings confirmed on April 19 that it would be terminating its agreement with the City of Rock Hill to complete the project after a failure to resolve funding issues.

Earlier, ENR Southeast reported Mascaro Construction and Barton Malow, the construction manager at-risk joint venture tapped by the Panthers to build the Populous-designed development, had declined to comment on the project pause or disclose how far work had progressed since ground was broken in July 2020.

The proposed new facility, whose construction site had been left dormant, broke ground in 2020, two years after Tepper took ownership of the Panthers. The 700,000 sq. ft. structure on a 240-acre site originally was delayed because of COVID-19.

In March, WCNC reported that Rock Hill failed to secure $225 million in bonds to fund roads, sidewalks and other public infrastructure on the site, prompting Tepper’s company to pause construction.

Most recently slated for 2023 completion, the facilities now sit empty and half-finished, despite Panthers.com still advertising Rock Hill as the future home to “not only include a world-class sports complex, but also … a true destination site for the entire region, offering entertainment, dining, retail, athletics and medical care.”

“On Feb. 26, 2021, the City of Rock Hill became delinquent on their obligation to fund the public infrastructure,” the team said in a statement. “Despite our persistent efforts throughout 2021, the City of Rock Hill failed to issue the bonds or provide the funding for the public infrastructure for the project.

“It is unfortunate that some recently decided to conduct a misguided, destructive public relations campaign to obscure their failures,” the statement said. “We have sent notices to the city to formally terminate the previous agreements. Accordingly, we are prepared to sit down with the city and other interested parties to discuss the significant challenges ahead.”

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