NFL Football

SC senator questions benefits analysis of Panthers HQ move

By JEFFREY COLLINS

Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) A state senator said Wednesday he still isn't convinced an economic incentive bill meant to lure the NFL's Carolina Panthers practice fields and team headquarters to South Carolina is a worthwhile deal for taxpayers.

Democratic state Sen. Dick Harpootlian of Columbia retained his own economist to analyze the state's examination of the value of the move.

South Carolina could only expect about $1.1 billion from the move over 15 years, according to the senator's report, well below the $3.8 billion impact the state Commerce Department estimated, according to a letter Harpootlian wrote to Gov. Henry McMaster. The governor is an enthusiastic supporter of the proposed move.

The state's analysis assumes all 150 players, coaches and staff would move to South Carolina, they would spend all their wages in the state, all the construction expenses would be spent in South Carolina and that the complex would be on par with one of the NFL's most popular franchises, the Dallas Cowboys, according to the report.

Harpootlian paid for the report compiled by Rebecca Gunnlaugsson, a private economist who was chief economist for the state Commerce Department from 2009 to 2011.

"I'm questioning a bill that I don't know the specifics on and no one in this chamber was involved in the negotiations," Harpootlian said.

Harpootlian said if he gets answers for the governor, even if he doesn't like them, he will remove an objection to the bill so it can come up for a vote. The bill passed the House 90-25 on March 26.

Panthers owner David Tepper met privately with McMaster and other South Carolina House leaders last month.

A new practice facility is critical for Tepper because the team had to practice late last season in a hotel ballroom because its current practice fields in downtown Charlotte, North Carolina, are not covered. Tepper hasn't spoken publicly about his plans since the meeting.

South Carolina is offering tax credits and to help pay for a new $40 million exchange on Interstate 77 to get the team to move its headquarters and practice fields. McMaster has said he thinks the team would build an entire complex that includes hotels, restaurants and other entertainment options near Fort Mill, about 15 miles (25 kilometers) south of where the team plays its games at Bank of America Stadium.

McMaster stands by the analysis conducted by the Commerce Department. Spokesman Brian Symmes said the agency has brokered deals that have brought 28,000 new jobs and $8.6 billion in investment to the state in the past two years.

Harpootlian was joined in his skepticism by one of the more conservative members of the Senate, Republican Chip Campsen of Isle of Palms.

Campsen said throwing incentives at anyone made sense last century when the state couldn't get companies to come. But it makes no sense now in a state that added 1 million people in the past 20 years.

"We don't have to bribe people to move to paradise," Campsen said.

Harpootlian sent his letter to the governor one day before Panthers players, coaches and the mascot Sir Purr were scheduled to meet with lawmakers at the South Carolina Statehouse and perhaps change a few doubting minds.

"I'll be happy to meet with Sir Purr, if Sir Purr has the answers to my questions," Harpootlian said.

"Sir Purr may provide the best answers you are going to get," Campsen replied.

---

Associated Press reporter Christina L. Myers contributed to this report.

---

Follow Jeffrey Collins on Twitter at https://twitter.com/JSCollinsAP . Read his work at https://apnews.com/search/jeffrey%20collins

Updated April 10, 2019

Sports Data API Powered by STATS © 2019 by STATS.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS is strictly prohibited.

Teams Score Time
NCAA FB
NC State   Sat 12:00pm
Boston College  
Duke   Sat 3:30pm
Virginia  
North Carolina   Sat 3:30pm
Virginia Tech  
NHL
Carolina   10:30pm
San Jose  
Teams Score Time
Pittsburgh   Fri 7:00pm
Syracuse  
Ohio State   Fri 8:30pm
Northwestern  
Auburn   Sat 12:00pm
Arkansas  
Clemson   Sat 12:00pm
Louisville  
Florida   Sat 12:00pm
South Carolina  
Georgia Tech   Sat 12:00pm
Miami  
NC State   Sat 12:00pm
Boston College  
Purdue   Sat 12:00pm
Iowa  
West Virginia   Sat 12:00pm
Oklahoma  
Wisconsin   Sat 12:00pm
Illinois  
Duke   Sat 3:30pm
Virginia  
LSU   Sat 3:30pm
Mississippi State  
Minnesota   Sat 3:30pm
Rutgers  
North Carolina   Sat 3:30pm
Virginia Tech  
Oregon   Sat 3:30pm
Washington  
Temple   Sat 3:30pm
SMU  
Tulsa   Sat 3:30pm
Cincinnati  
UL Monroe   Sat 3:30pm
Appalachian State  
Baylor   Sat 4:00pm
Oklahoma State  
Missouri   Sat 4:00pm
Vanderbilt  
Arizona State   Sat 6:00pm
Utah  
Kentucky   Sat 6:00pm
Georgia  
Kansas   Sat 7:00pm
Texas  
Florida State   Sat 7:30pm
Wake Forest  
Michigan   Sat 7:30pm
Penn State  
Tennessee   Sat 9:00pm
Alabama  
Boise State   Sat 10:15pm
BYU  
Teams Score Time
American League
Houston   8:08pm
New York  
Teams Score Time
Detroit 56 01:18 2nd
Charlotte 54
Atlanta   8:00pm
New York  
Memphis   8:00pm
Oklahoma City  
San Antonio   8:00pm
Houston  
Portland   9:00pm
Utah  
Golden State   10:30pm
Los Angeles  
Teams Score Time
Kansas City   Thu 8:20pm
Denver  
Teams Score Time
Colorado 1 00:00 1st
Pittsburgh 1
Dallas 1 00:00 1st
Columbus 2
Toronto 2 00:00 1st
Washington 1
Philadelphia   9:30pm
Edmonton  
Buffalo   10:00pm
Anaheim  
Carolina   10:30pm
San Jose  
MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES AT TALLADEGA
Pos # Name Start Pos
1 12 Ryan Blaney 9
2 6 Ryan Newman 13
3 11 Denny Hamlin 40
4 10 Aric Almirola 5
5 34 Michael McDowell 22
6 3 Austin Dillon 20
7 32 Corey Lajoie 33
8 9 Chase Elliott 1
9 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr 7
NASCAR XFINITY SERIES AT DOVER
Pos # Name Start Pos
1 00 Cole Custer 3
2 7 Justin Allgaier 8
3 22 Austin Cindric 2
4 11 Justin Haley 11
5 98 Chase Briscoe 1
6 1 Michael Annett 16
7 9 Noah Gragson 7
8 23 John Hunter Nemechek 17
9 8 Zane Smith 10
NASCAR GANDER OUTDOORS TRUCK SERIES AT TALLADEGA
Pos # Name Start Pos
1 20 Spencer Boyd 25
2 4 Todd Gilliland 6
3 51 Riley Herbst 7
4 24 Brett Moffitt 8
5 52 Stewart Friesen 10
6 16 Austin Hill 13
7 17 Tyler Ankrum 2
8 88 Matt Crafton 1
9 2 Sheldon Creed 5