22 Jan New Year, New Growth for Charlotte Sports
As Charlotte enters 2019, the city also welcomes changes on the sports landscape. The Carolina Panthers owner, David Tepper, has officially announced his plans to install an indoor practice bubble over the current 7-acre practice field. The $900,000-$1.5 million budgeted project would allow Panthers players to practice inside the stadium during cold and rainy days, instead of in a ballroom Uptown. This installation may be followed up with stadium renovations such as an expanded cafeteria, improved weight room and escalators— budgeted at around $100 million.
Such renovations could introduce special opportunities to the city, like new brand sponsorships for the Panthers and the discussion of a Charlotte Major League Soccer team owned by the Panthers.
NBA All-Star Game
Along with the excitement surrounding the Panthers’ stadium, the fast-approaching mid-season NBA All-Star game is a priority for the tourism heavyweights, Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority and city government. The exhibition game, scheduled for Feb. 17, will be surrounded by promotional parties, weekend-long festivals for fans and philanthropy programs starting Feb. 15. All of the events are budgeted to bring in over $100 million in profits for the city, according to tourism agency studies.
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Awards
The upcoming developments are welcomed with open arms in the Queen City after NASCAR announced the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series awards is forecasted to move to Nashville, Tennessee instead of Charlotte. The event has been held in Las Vegas for the past ten years, and New York City prior to Las Vegas. The projected relocation of the awards ceremony has potential to launch Nashville into a successful market for NASCAR. Both cities have a long running history with NASCAR, including Charlotte’s NASCAR Hall of Fame and NASCAR Plaza.
Charlotte is bursting with opportunity for the sports industry to flourish, even in the early term of the year. According to Forbes Magazine, the Panthers created a revenue of $396 million in 2018 alone. The income from the Panthers allows new paths of revenue as well; Mecklenburg County earned $16.4 million in Airbnb purchases in 2018, also thanks to events like the ACC Football Championship. As current events continue to unfold, the future for Charlotte seems bright and full of potential for growth and development.