With the hiring of Tom Glick as the new president of the NFL’s Carolina Panthers, there are inevitable questions about a potential MLS team owned by David Tepper as part of a new-stadium push.
Glick is an experience sports-business pro, having worked for baseball, basketball, hockey and soccer organizations in both the United States and the United Kingdom, most recently with City Football Group (CFG), a multi-national soccer organization that includes six clubs.
CFG’s original and flagship club is three-time and current English Premier League champion Manchester City FC. The group also is an owner of MLS’s New York City FC, which Glick helped launch. Which will set off the inevitable discussion: does Glick’s hiring mean Tepper will pursue an MLS team?
We’d recommend some caution on that proposition. Glick also worked in Minor League Baseball for 14 years and later an exec with the NBA’s New Jersey Nets, but that doesn’t mean Tepper will be pursuing MiLB or NBA teams.
But there’s one constant here: Glick has been involved in facilities management, whether it be a new Lansing Lugnuts ballpark early in his career, renovating Etihad Stadium, and involvement in a search for a new NYC FC stadium. That is the clearest indication that Tepper intends to at least look at a replacement for Bank of America Stadium, but so far there’s no firm public announcements on the subject. And clearly Tepper will want to focus on revitalizing the Panthers’ business operations after a few years of tumult.
“I am honored to join the Panthers,” Glick said in a press release announcing his hiring. “David has a clear and exciting vision for the team, and I can see and feel the buzz and anticipation for this new era of Panthers football. I’m ready to get started and will give everything to help the team deliver for our fans, players, staff, partners and our communities throughout North and South Carolina.”
“We are thrilled to have Tom join the Panthers family,” Tepper said in the same press release. “He has tremendous experience in professional sports, successfully fostering fan engagement in major cities globally. I know that his record, expertise and drive will be major assets as we look to win on the field and in the community.”
Right now there’s no firm talk of a new stadium for the Panthers. But there’s a clear model for a new NFL/MLS facility—Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium, obviously—and there certainly is a little regional rivalry between Atlanta and Charlotte. An MLS team as part of the package would certainly broaden any pitch for a new Charlotte stadium, and you can expect plenty of talk about MLS in weeks ahead.
Photo of Bank of America Stadium courtesy Carolina Panthers.