Carolina Panthers' Mike Tolbert (35) is congratulated by Garry Williams (65) after a touchdown run during the second half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints on Dec. 30 in New Orleans.

AP file photo

Carolina Panthers' Mike Tolbert (35) is congratulated by Garry Williams (65) after a touchdown run during the second half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints on Dec. 30 in New Orleans.

Charlotte council approves $144M plan for Panthers

The Associated Press

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CHARLOTTE — A $144 million plan approved by the Charlotte City Council is aimed at keeping the Carolina Panthers for at least another 15 years.

The bulk of the package approved in a 3-hour-long closed-door meeting Friday night would go toward upgrades at Bank of America Stadium, the uptown home of the team since 1996. Other money would go toward stadium maintenance and paying for traffic control on game days.

The new deal would help meet demands made by Panthers owner Jerry Richardson. In exchange for money, the team must agree to not leave Charlotte through the 2027 season.

Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx says the Panthers have been valuable for the region and have helped give residents a sense of unity.

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