City Of Rock Hill Continues To Deny Missing Panthers Funding Deadline
ROCK HILL, S.C. – The City of Rock Hill continues to deny it missed a $225 Million payment toward infrastructure at the Panthers new headquarters and practice facility.
Construction on the project has come to a halt, but now a county councilman is proposing a solution.
“I’ve been saying for years that Rock Hill has some financial issues. They’ve been stretched thin,” says York Co. Councilman William “Bump” Roddey.
Roddey says it’s time for the county to step in to help secure the funding needed to continue the project.
“The Panthers deal happened at the right time for York County, but not necessarily at the right time for the city of Rock Hill to be able to go out and secure such large bonds,” he says.
Monday, Tepper Sports and Entertainment announced it had paused work on the $800 million project because, “…our partners have been unable to contribute the agreed upon investment…”
Tepper’s company has already invested more than $170 million in the project.
A May 2021 letter from Panthers Vice President and COO Mark Hart to the York County Manager expressed concerns about Rock Hill being able to secure the $225 Million in bond money and asking the county for help.
Despite that, the city continues to say it met all obligations with a spokesperson saying, “…we don’t intend to respond further to this unsubstantiated, anonymous claim.”
“Clearly, I think from a personal standpoint, it’s very disingenuous to make that statement publicly when you know they’ve been in contact and communications with the Panthers over $225 million dollars. That just doesn’t slip through the crack, that money was due,” Roddey says.
Roddey says the county has a better credit rating and is in a better position to secure the money needed, if the city is willing to play ball.
“Basically, it’s first and 10 from the goal line now, and we just have to secure this bond for this deal to ultimately cross the goal line,” Roddey says.