CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper will spend a record $325 million to bring Major League Soccer's 30th franchise to Charlotte, sources have told ESPN.
A Tuesday 10 a.m. ET news conference for what Tepper Sports and Entertainment called a major announcement is scheduled at the Mint Museum in Charlotte. Joining Tepper at the event will be MLS commissioner Don Garber and Charlotte mayor Viola Lyles.
Last week, the Charlotte city council pledged $110 million to help secure the bid against other cities. The $325m Tepper will spend far exceeds the $200m for the 28th and 29th expansion franchises.
The plan is to start playing games within the next two years at Bank of America Stadium, the home of Tepper's NFL franchise, on which he spent an NFL-record $2.275 billion to purchase in 2018.
The stadium, according to reports, will need renovations before hosting pro soccer matches.
Tepper said it was his goal to bring professional soccer to Charlotte when he purchased the Panthers from founder Jerry Richardson. He immediately hired Tom Glick, who has worked with pro soccer in the United States and the United Kingdom, to oversee the team's day-to-day operations on the business side.
With the addition of a team in Charlotte, 20 clubs will have joined MLS since 2005, fulfilling a vision for strategic expansion that has transformed the landscape of professional soccer across North America.
FC Cincinnati joined MLS as the 24th team this season. Nashville SC and Inter Miami CF will debut in 2020 followed by Austin FC in 2021 and St. Louis and Sacramento in 2022.