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Carolina Panthers terminate agreement with new S.C. facility; McMaster calls it ‘a disappointment’

The project has been delayed for over a month after Tepper Sports says the city of Rock Hill...
The project has been delayed for over a month after Tepper Sports says the city of Rock Hill didn't make its initial payment on time.(Source: WBTV file photo)
Published: Apr. 20, 2022 at 4:54 AM EDT
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ROCK HILL, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - The partnership between the city of Rock Hill and GT Real Estate, the agency behind the new Carolina Panthers headquarters and practice facility, has dissolved, according to a spokesperson.

The announcement came Tuesday, April 19, nearly two years since renderings for the $800 million facility were released.

The full statement from GTRE says:

“On February 26, 2021, the City of Rock Hill became delinquent on their obligation to fund the public infrastructure. 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 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.”

GTRE spokesperson

Related: Panthers practice stadium put on hold a month ago, still no signs project could restart

Panthers owner David Tepper announced on March 7 that he would halt the project due to financing issues with Rock Hill. WBTV learned the city failed to issue its bond, which was due at the end of February and the extended date from the original 2019 deal.

A new financial deal came on March 21 after York County Council passed a resolution introducing a new, tax-free plan. Rock Hill supported the plan with its own resolution.

In response to the decision, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster issued a statement on Tuesday calling the announcement “a disappointment.”

“Today’s announcement by the Panthers is a disappointment, as we had hoped they would be a part of South Carolina’s record-breaking, booming economy,” he said. “In 2021, we broke a decade’s worth of records for job recruitment, investment, and expansion, announcing 18,000 new jobs and $5.6 billion in capital investment. And our state government’s finances are in the strongest condition ever, with the largest budget surpluses, the largest rainy-day reserves, and the lowest debt in our history... South Carolina is winning, and we intend to keep winning. The best is yet to come!”

WBTV and WHNS contributed to this report.

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