York County Approves $225 Million in Local Incentives for Panthers

YORK, S.C. – A touchdown for the Carolina Panthers, scoring $225 million in local incentives on Monday night for their new Rock Hill headquarters and practice facility.

It comes on top of more than $100 million in state incentives.

The approval came by a 4-3 York County Council vote, after a contentious meeting that happened on Zoom.

Before the vote, several people who called in during a public hearing told council members they were upset such a big decision was being made online.

The $225 million comes over up to 30 years, with the City of Rock Hill forgoing 100 percent of taxes on the property, the Rock Hill School District forgoing 75 percent, and York County forgoing 65 percent.

That money would go toward roads and infrastructure for the project.

In exchange, the Panthers are promising $500 million in investment in the project’s first phase and 150 full-time jobs.

Some neighbors called in during the public hearing, upset because they didn’t realize, until recently, that their property was added to the incentives deal.

In fact, more than 800 acres was added, making all the additional property eligible for the tax incentives, if the Panthers were to buy it sometime in the future.

Some council members defended the last-minute changes, saying overall, the incentives are a good deal for the county.

“This is going to be a destination. This is not just where players are going to come down to Rock Hill, practice, get in their cars and go home. This is going to be a world, class major attraction that is going to sit right here in Rock Hill, inside York County,” said Council member William “Bump” Roddey.

The Panthers completed the purchase of 240 acres at the site south of Eden Terrace, near I-77, last month.

The site is not in Rock Hill now, but the city plans to annex it.

The deal approved Monday night says the Panthers now plan to open the facility in 2023, which is a year later than previously planned.