Note: my fuging IE crashed after I wrote all of this the first time so I am trying to recreate the best I can.
He spoke at the Charlotte Chamber Young Professionals Luncheon regarding the Impact of Professional Sports in Charlotte's Economy.
Some of you may not know this, but Danny walks around to all tailgates and Training Camp shaking hands, introducing himself, and thanking the fans for their support of the team.
He was a great speaker and threw out some awesome statistics that I couldn't even keep up with in my notes.
Couple things about him I did not know:
He was a math major- and a teacher at one point (He threw out so many #s and statistics it only made sense he was a math guru to remember all of that and be able to spit it back out)
He has known JR for a long time and was part of the group notified in 1987 when JR decided he wanted an NFL team here.
He has a lot of respect for Jerry Richardson and the Carolinas as a whole.
He was very blunt and honest, which is rare to see from someone in his position, but I appreciated that he broke everything down for us. Especially since the woman sitting next to him asking the questions was.....more or less uninformed in the football arena. I mean....wow. She came off like an idiot.
He went very in depth on the TAX issue we all know that recently was somewhat resolved, and I learned new things I never knew about the process. (Lots of numbers, math major- you get it)
1) Did you know the team pays taxes on the PSLs before any of that money goes toward the stadium?
2) It has cost a total of $595 million to build, operate, and maintain Bank of America Stadium
3) The organization pays a total of $2 Million per year in property taxes.
New fact I learned today that I never knew- We all know that there was a clause in JR's estate that said after his death, the team was to be sold within 2 years....do you know the reason?
When the person who owns that organization passes, and the estate is assessed, the TAX that you have to pay on the Estate (JR refers to them as death taxes) is HALF the assessed value of the team!! As of 2012, according to Forbes, we were valued at $1.048 BILLION (16th in the NFL), which means the estate taxes would have been about half that.
It was not known if the estate would have roughly $500 million to cough up in taxes.
SO, that was how the whole fiasco started. How can we create a tether for the team to stay in Charlotte under new ownership after Jerry's death and still be a guaranteed stay?
SO, out of that came the first Economic Development Meeting- January 14, 2013. This was not a public meeting.
One thing that Danny said was made very clear at the start of every single meeting was JR insistent that the team WOULD NOT be relocated or moved and that it was not to EVER be brought up as an option.
Based on this meeting- they hired USC (South Carolina) to do a study based on the economic impact that the Carolina Panthers have on the Carolinas. They did the study and came back with all sorts of #s he threw out too quickly for my notes. The amount of jobs directly and indirectly affected by the stadium itself, and the amount of revenue the team brings- restaurant, hotel, ticket sales, merchandise, etc, etc.
Got all the info and had the study done. The first proposal was a raise in the tax as you all know by 1%. That would create $$ from tax payers, the team, and the state to renovate the stadium.
Original agreement was for a 15 year stay for the team and a guaranteed tether (team here in Charlotte) for 10 years.
Against the advice of all his advisors (internally Carolina Panthers), he agreed to take the deal of 15 years and 1% increase. City Council said fine with us, go talk to the State. Council vote was 7-2.
Went to the State- presented on 2/8. State said yes, final vote was 9-1.
As you all probably know, this was when the shizz hit the fan, people started freaking out about the increase in taxes. The Restaurant Association in Charlotte actually supported the increase when they went back with the revised plan for only a .5% increase in tax and still a 15 year tether.
Raleigh said sorry- we dont have the votes to get this done.
That was when the idea was created of using the Revenue Stream that was already incoming for the Charlotte Convention Center and allocating that towards the stadium.
After all everything- they came out with a 10 year tether.
Vote in Raleigh- unanimous
Vote for Economic Development Committee to Recommend to City Council- 4-0 for.
City Council- unanimous vote (this was in April)
Senate Vote (I think this was May? Not sure on the timeline)- 45-0 vote. BAM.
All in all- Danny said that Jerry Richardson's one request from the very beginning was to be fair. Fair to the city, the fans, and the people voting on the issues.
Great speaker to see today, learned a lot that I did not know before. Some of my facts and numbers may be off because I was so eagerly taking notes on my ipad and trying to listen to him speak at the same time.
The lady asking him the questions was a flat out idiot. Said something about "let's face it guys, we all die" or some poo and then was digging herself out of the hole bigtime. That was her attempt to try and explain the Estate Tax thing- he finally took the microphone out of her hand and explained.
This may be completely useless information for some of you but I found it incredibly fascinating and thought he was a great speaker. He spoke very highly of our fans and fanbase. He also poo talked Cowboys fans which I loved- calling them the obnoxious ones
I got to ask one question- but it was more city related regarding could we sustain a SuperBowl here? His answer was we need to pay close attention to NYC and see how that works. Based on that we can gauge how well that could work here. If anyone knows why we are comparable to NYC, please elaborate!