Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper is determined to build an indoor practice facility for the team – and he remains bullish about the chances of bringing Major League Soccer to Charlotte.
These were some of the main takeaways from Tepper’s in-depth conversation with a small group of media members on Tuesday afternoon at Bank of America Stadium.
First and foremost, Tepper wants to construct an indoor practice ‘bubble’ because the facilities were “just not up to the standard of the rest of the league”.
“When you have to practice in a ballroom, that’s just crazy to me…there’s no fan of Carolina that doesn’t want that bubble,” Tepper said of the team’s occasional use of the Crown Ballroom in the Charlotte Convention Center to hold practice indoors. “People told me that it doesn’t rain here. That was not true. It rained so frickin’ much here. We missed so many practices.”
The players’ cafeteria will be also doubled in size, so the entire team can eat there at the same time, in part by removing some of Tepper’s parking spaces. Changes to the weight room are also planned.
Tepper added that he and team president Tom Glick are in “ongoing discussions” with MLS about bringing a team to Charlotte.
“We’re talking about when they’re going to take extra teams, and when the time comes we are very much studying that, very focused on it and I do personally believe that’s something that belongs in Charlotte,” he said.