Dale Zanine-US PRESSWIRE
Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson has denied a report that he is interested in moving the team to Los Angeles.
Despite reports that Los Angeles has been courting the Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson in hopes that he would move the team to the City of Angeles, Richardson insists that he is committed to keeping the team in Charlotte. As of now, it appears as if the Panthers are not a realistic option for LA.
"It has always been my desire that the Carolinas would be the home of our Panthers. Nothing has changed. As someone who was born in North Carolina and lived much of my life in South Carolina, I hope that there would be no doubts about my personal devotion to the Carolinas," RIchardson said in a statement.
Los Angeles officials began talking with Richardson at the Democratic National Convention, which was hosted in Charlotte and chaired by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. The city is interested in the Panthers because they own Bank of America Stadium and because of that do not have to break a lease to move.
Carolina is just one of four teams in the NFL that are in such a situation and they have made it known that they would like renovations to their stadium, with the city footing some of the bill. To this point, Charlotte has said they are committed to keeping the Panthers and are willing to pay for part of any renovations to the stadium so unless the city backs off and refuses to help out, it appears as if the Panthers will stay put.
The most likely candidates to move to Los Angeles remain the Chargers, Rams and Raiders, all of whom have stated their desire for new stadiums and have been unable to come to an agreement on them. All three all have ways to get out of their leases, too, even if it isn't as clean as just leaving, as would be the case with the Panthers.
Los Angeles has two new stadium projects currently on the table. One is Farmers Field, which would be located downtown, and will be shovel ready should they make it through the upcoming months without any legal roadblocks and can wrap up a deal with the city, which appears to be near completion. The other is a stadium in the City of Industry, which can begin construction as soon as a team commits to moving there.