Major League Soccer expanded into Charlotte, North Carolina, in 2020. It was a surprising announcement that MLS analysts hadn’t expected & after the revelation, most believed it’d be a smooth transition for Charlotte FC to begin competing by 2020. It’s been learned that transitioning into a new stadium won’t be easily accomplished, with taxpayers having to sustain a large percentage of the cost. The City of Charlotte has guaranteed reimbursement incentives valued at $110 Million.
It’s the most considerable cost that taxpayers have sustained since developing the Bank of America Stadium. However, the $110 Million being spent is also accounting for dire renovations needed at Bank of America Stadium. It’ll be a small percentage, with the overwhelming majority of finances being used towards a new stadium at the “Eastland Mall Site – Charlotte, North Carolina”. This is an abandoned complex that provided the necessary square footage needed for a new sports stadium.
Bank of America Stadium has been home for the Charlotte Panthers for years & is owned by Dave Tepper, owner of the upcoming MLS team. The City of Charlotte Council suggested the Eastland Mall Site for Tepper, which sustains square footage of 20,000. During the October 26th presentation held by the Council, their offering to Dave Tepper wasn’t listed. Incentives previously listen at $110 Million have now been eliminated by 68%. It’s led to an immediate delay in Charlotte FC being housed at the “Eastland Mall Stadium” by 2020. This could mean that similar to other expansion teams; Charlotte FC could have to compete at another local facility, such as Bank of America Stadium.
It’s also disappointing for MLS Team Headquarters & Charlotte FC Player Development Academy, with both institutions slated to be housed inside the metropolis’s borders. The City of Charlotte was expected to award $75 Million for the development of these two institutions. Decreasing incentives by 68% to create more significant funds to other necessities needed for Charlotte Residents, means that these two institutions won’t likely get developed for years. The City of Charlotte Council now expected local County’s to sustain some of the required cost, including Mecklenburg County at $15 Million.