We did it!
We not only cut a handshake deal with the Carolina Panthers requiring them to take $125 million in public money whether they need it or not, but we also demonstrated how fiscally disciplined we are by giving them only a 15 percent tip for upkeep.
There is simply no other city in the hemisphere that can match our negotiation skills. None.
We did it in only a matter of months, a record pace. This shows what we can do when we set aside our political differences to tackle the toughest challenges facing the metropolis.
We did it by boldly taxing the peasants on the food they eat and beer they drink. And just in case any of them get whiny about the imposition, we ensured it would be only a temporary annoyance, lasting no more than 30 years.
We did it behind closed doors so the public would be spared the boredom of listening to the facts.
Its sad, but mere civilians tend to lack the intellectual power to appreciate how tens of millions of their citys dollars can get effortlessly ladled over to a billion-dollar enterprise most of them could never afford to patronize.
We did it without ever learning what the money is going to go for. An escalator and a scoreboard? No problem! Heres the $125 million you mentioned and heres $19 million more to make sure whatever you buy never gets dusty and to direct traffic on game days. If you need any more, just call but remember that were not push-overs.
We did it with the strictest provisions you can imagine.
If the Panthers decide to leave Charlotte in the next 15 years, we can sue them. Yes, we can. And in a North Carolina court we can sue them, as opposed to one in Kansas or Manitoba, so they better watch out.
We did it by making them agree that if the team leaves after the deal expires, we can buy the ancient, empty stadium for a fair market price (such as whatever we could get on eBay for a used escalator and an obsolete scoreboard). This is unbelievably intimidating to any future owner of the team because it means they couldnt haul the stadium away with them to Los Angeles or wherever they decided to go to make their next fortune.
We did it without the unpleasantness that would come by asking the team to change its name to Charlotte Panthers to correct the national misconception that the games are played in Charleston.
Well talk about that in 15 years, when the next extortion threat has been scheduled by mutual agreement.
Until then, Carolina Panthers, dont forget who youre dealing with. In Charlotte, we mean business.
Washburn: 704-358-5007; firstname.lastname@example.org
The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.
Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email email@example.com to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.Read moreRead less