CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Derrick Raley is a disabled US Air Force veteran and a Carolina Panthers fan since day one.
“Definitely a die-hard Panthers fan,” said Raley. “I was a Panthers fan in 1995 and I’ll be a Panthers fan forever.”
In 2016 Raley paid $9,900 to be a Permanent Seat License owner. That was supposed to guarantee he would have the same two seats for every game in section 102, eighth row, by the goal post.
“I wanted aisle seats,” he said. “I have total knee replacements.”
Recently, the Panthers informed him the seats he paid to own are no more. To prepare for Major League Soccer, renovations at Bank of America Stadium are ongoing. New field level suites in the end zone could displace hundreds of PSL owners, according to Raley and his attorney, Faith Fox.
“It’s completely unacceptable,” she said. “This is not something that we’re going to tolerate.”
Raley said the team offered him worse seats, which he declined. He says he was then coerced into signing an agreement: accept $7000, nearly $3000 less than he originally paid, or receive nothing.
Fox says the seats would have been worth $15-18,000 today if Raley had sold them.
“At this point,” she said, “he’s just hoping to get what he paid for them.”
FOX 46 reached out to representatives for the Panthers but did not hear back. Raley says he is considering a lawsuit but is hoping it won’t come to that.
“Hopefully we can have a conversation and put this behind us,” said Fox.