The Carolina Panthers NFL American football team has opted to halt plans for a major development project in Rock Hill that would have included a new sports and entertainment venue.

The development had also been slated to include a new headquarters and practice facility for the Panthers but the plans appear to be in doubt after the Panthers terminated an agreement with the City of Rock Hill.

The Panthers revealed renderings for the development back in October 2020. The new sports and entertainment venue would have had 5,000 permanent seats and there had been plans for the arena to be expanded to 20,000 for sporting events and concerts.

A statement released this week from Tepper Sports & Entertainment, which owns the Panthers, confirmed that an agreement with the City of Rock Hill has been terminated.

The statement, which was tweeted by Panthers reporter Joe Person, said that the City became “delinquent on their obligation to fund the public infrastructure” in February 2021.

The statement continued: “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.

“On March 18, 2022, GTRE (GT Real Estate Holdings) issued a default notice and the City did not cure its default within the prescribed 30-day cure period. It is unfortunate that some recently decided to conduct a misguided, destructive public relations campaign to obscure their failures.

“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.”

The City of Rock Hill said it was disappointed with the Panthers’ decision to halt the development, a move which it feels undermines the “exhaustive efforts” of the City, State of South Carolina, York County, Rock Hill Schools, key landowners and the local region.

The City added that it remains its intention to continue negotiating with the Panthers in good faith while protecting the interests of its taxpayers.

A statement from the City of Rock Hill added: “The City does not believe in addressing, through a public back-and-forth, its differences with another party. We are encouraged the Panthers may now be willing to meet and look forward to resolving any and all outstanding issues so that we can together fulfil the promises implicit in the ‘two states, one team’ ethos. From our standpoint, we are prepared to meet as early as today. Accordingly, this will be the last public statement from the City regarding the most recent misleading and erroneous statements from the Panthers.”

Image: Populous/Carolina Panthers