Because so many of you are far too dense to see the genius in pouring $125 million of tax money into the Panthers’ stadium, we will explain it all today in a simple Q&A:
Q. They want to do what?
They want to upgrade Bank of America stadium, where football is played about 12 times a year.
Q. What do you mean, upgrade?
An escalator and new scoreboard. And probably other stuff if there’s any money left over.
Q. Doesn’t that seem kind of pricey?
Clearly, you’ve never done any home improvements. There will be multiple trips to the hardware store.
Q. But the Panthers are estimated to be worth about $1 billion. That’s like the gross national product of Peru.
All of South America, actually. But that’s not the point. We must invest so the team won’t move away.
Q. Where would they go?
Los Angeles. All the teams that need taxpayers to pay for stadium improvements are probably moving to Los Angeles, which has never successfully supported an NFL franchise. If we don’t spruce up the stadium, the Panthers will go play in L.A. along with the Minnesota Vikings, Atlanta Falcons and Buffalo Bills. On Sundays, L.A. is going to have more games than the North Meck Soccer League.
Q. Where do we raise the money?
See, here’s the genius part. Everybody calls this “public money,” which is just playing into the hands of the tax kooks. We’ll just add another 1 percent to the city’s beer-and-grub tax. This means the only people paying the tax will be tourists, business travelers, cowboys passing through on cattle drives and possibly the rare, random Charlottean ravening for lunch or dinner.
It’s sort of like the hotel-rental car tax that built the NASCAR Hall of Fame. It didn’t cost us anything (and, by the way, it’s not too early to be thinking about upgrading the hall, so it won’t move to Los Angeles).
Q. I heard the Panthers are going to ask the state for money, too.
Oh, absolutely. Already, the Panthers have issued a polite demand for $60 million. This has not gone over well yet, but should gain immediate favor when people in Raleigh find out the improvements will make the stadium suitable for tractor pulls.
Plus, the Panthers have leverage they haven’t unleashed. Just wait until they threaten to move the team to Fort Mill.