ROCK HILL, S.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — Nearly three years ago, Rock Hill rolled out the red carpet for David Tepper and his team. Excitement was brewing with the announcement the Panthers were building a state-of-the-art practice facility in Football City USA.

“I just got tired of seeing a half-finished project,” said U.S. Representative Ralph Norman (R-SC 5th District).

Now, there aren’t any workers on-site after construction came to a screeching halt. Panthers’ reps told Queen City News the City of Rock Hill missed payments to the tune of $225 million. Rock Hill leaders, though, have repeatedly said they’ve held up their end of the bargain.

“No, I wouldn’t blame the city yet,” Norman said. “The fact is we don’t know. That’s the purpose of my statement. We need to find out. Both sides need to come to the table and negotiate in private.”

On Wednesday, April 13, another U.S. Representative issued a statement, publicly condemning Tepper for his ‘lack of transparency’ surrounding the Rock Hill practice facility project.

“I voted no on the bill that gave tax incentives to fund this project because I was concerned something like this would happen,” JA Moore (D-SC 15th District) said. “We need to invest in smart economic development that benefits taxpayers and promotes economic growth, not make billionaires’ wallets bigger.”

In the meantime, plan B is now on the table. York County has stepped in, offering Tepper 30 years of tax credits if he pays for the whole project upfront. Rock Hill has offered the same incentives for 41 years. The silence from the Panthers, however, is deafening.

Here’s what the contract says, “If one party doesn’t perform, that’s called a default and in this case, Tepper has to tell Rock Hill that they’ve defaulted, Rock Hill gets 30 days to cure this, known as a cure period,” said Queen City News legal expert, Seema Iyer. “If they don’t, then both sides have agreed under this contract to arbitration and they also get what’s called an emergency dispute arbitration,” she continued, “and that means going to arbitration within 30 days. The bottom line here is that if one party doesn’t perform, it doesn’t excuse the other party from non-performance.”

On April 11, Queen City News reached out to the Carolina Panthers who declined to comment.