The lease ends in June, 2019.
The National Football League’s Carolina Panthers franchise is for sale following the owner Jerry Richardson’s decision to get rid of the business after being accused of sexual harassment. The team will be sold but here is a question. Will the franchise remain in Charlotte as the team’s deal with the city is done after the 2018 season. The answer is not known at this point. Charlotte recently upgraded the Panthers venue and there are no attendance issues unlike the situations in San Diego, St. Louis and Oakland which saw the Chargers, Rams and Raiders owners leave their homes for what they perceived as greener pastures. NFL owners are supposed to approve team moves but rarely ever stop a fellow owner from going elsewhere. But that is an issue after the team is sold. It is not known whether Richardson has stipulated that the new owner has to keep the team in Charlotte after the June, 2019 lease expiration.
The NFL has run out of viable United States cities for relocation. Oakland will house Mark Davis’s Raiders for at most two years, San Antonio, San Diego and St. Louis do not have any NFL ready stadiums on the horizon. The NFL would eventually like to set up shop in London, England but there are numerous obstacles that would have to be overcome including feeding a London based team. The NFL does have a London stadium. That would be the easiest part of putting a team in London. It would be extremely hard to justify pulling a team out of Charlotte. The city’s mayor Vi Lyles wants to work with the new owner when one is selected to keep the NFL franchise in town. The Charlotte stadium was built in the 1990s and does not have the 21st century gadgets that are found in new buildings in Arlington, Texas, Minneapolis and Atlanta and that could be a problem.
Cam Newton has expressed support for Jerry Richardson.