House Speaker Thom Tillis said Tuesday that the Carolina Panthers would not get direct state taxpayer dollars for stadium renovations. "I've been clear with the Panthers organization that it is not appropriate to have state taxpayer dollars go directly into the stadium, so that is more or less a level set on our part," he said, a day after meeting with owner Jerry Richardson in Raleigh.
At the same time Tillis, a Republican from Mecklenburg County, touted the Panther's as an employer and said he would work to find local solutions that would involve taxpayer support, such as the Charlotte city council proposal to hike the food tax. "The Panthers is an employer of some 4,400 direct jobs and an estimated 1,500 indirect jobs," he said. "They are a major employer in North Carolina. And every month I probably get an opportunity two to three times to talk with major businesses in North Carolina who are considering moving somewhere else. And that is a very real possibility for the Panthers."