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The Panthers are worth public money. But let’s figure out now what we’re willing to offer

There’s plenty of debate over whether public subsidies of professional sports are worth it. Economists generally agree that the costs to taxpayers outweigh the benefits of all the additional spending on construction, hotels, restaurants, tickets and concessions.

And yet, cities keep ponying up to build stadiums — some $12 billion worth between 2000 and 2015.

In 2013, the city of Charlotte approved an $87.5 million plan to help renovate Bank of America Stadium in exchange for a six-year guarantee that the Panthers would not move. A year later, Charlotte rejected a proposal to pump in $50 million more for four more years.

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