CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — Every sip and bite at restaurants and bars across Mecklenburg County will continue to fuel hospitality-related projects, including renovations at Bank of America Stadium.

The North Carolina legislature voted to extend the county’s 1 percent food and beverage tax to 2060. Before the bipartisan vote, the tax was set to expire in 2031.

“Having these sorts of policies on the books that are really going to encourage investments in our community that also provide tremendous returns on investment are just really good policy, and that is why groups like the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance are happy to support it,” said Joe Bost, Charlotte Regional Business Alliance chief advocacy officer.

“One out of every nine people in our community work in the hospitality and tourism industry, which is a vital part of our region’s economy. It is important that our community have venues for the games, concerts and other events that help create a vibrant and growing city that delivers services to our residents. We are very grateful to Rep. Bradford, other legislators and the hospitality and tourism leaders who helped move this important issue forward.” – City of Charlotte

Built in 1996, Bank of America Stadium is considered one of the oldest stadiums in the NFL. 

“At some point, that building will fall down; it’s a question like I said before, and I’ll say it again: I’m not building the stadium alone. The community is going to have to want it,” Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper said back in 2021.

In 2021, Tepper’s company purchased 4.6 acres of land along McNinch Street, just blocks away from the stadium.  The purchase intensified rumors of a possible entertainment district and new home for the Panthers.

That same year, a 55-acre site located across the street from Bank of America Stadium in Uptown was rezoned from industrial to mixed-use. The prime piece of Uptown real estate has been the home of Pipe and Foundry since the early 1900s. The company announced it is moving to Stanly County for more space.

“We appreciate the General Assembly extending the existing 1% local prepared food and drink sales tax, as part of Senate Bill 154. This extension is crucial for advancing our tourism efforts and will provide us with the means to bond future revenues, enabling the funding of important initiatives. The stability and predictability of hospitality taxes make them a dependable source for financing projects. As for Bank of America Stadium, the CRVA has supported substantial investments in the stadium in the past. Future investments are part of the city’s ongoing negotiations with Tepper Sports & Entertainment, and we see this extension as a positive step.”  –Tom Murray, CEO, of Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority.

Tepper has not publicly commented on renovation or replacement plans for the stadium.

We appreciate the North Carolina legislature’s support for the hospitality and tourism industry by taking action to extend the existing food and beverage tax. The Carolina Panthers, Charlotte FC, and Bank of America Stadium are closely tied to the hospitality and tourism industry and support economic development for our community.” – Tepper Sports and Entertainment Spokesperson

“You may think 1 percent doesn’t sound like much, but at the end of the day, you feel the vibrancy when you come to this community every single visit that you make,” Bost said.

According to the City of Charlotte, the Prepared Food and Beverage Tax brought in more than $42 million in fiscal year 2022.

The city budgeted nearly $44 million for fiscal year 2023.