CBJ Buzz: NFL officials visit Charlotte with eye on potential draft sites; NoDa restaurant vandalized

A group of NFL officials visited Kansas City to see if it would be a potential site for hosting the NFL Draft in the future.

CBJ Buzz: NFL officials visit Charlotte with eye on potential draft sites; NoDa restaurant vandalized

In the days after a trip by high-profile leaders from Charlotte to the NFL Draft, Kansas City, officials of the league quietly arrived in Charlotte earlier this month in order to assess potential venues for the event.

Joe Bruno, a reporter for CBJ's news partner WSOC-TV who obtained emails detailing the visit, confirms this. Kristi Coleman was scheduled to meet with the NFL delegation on May 4, at Bank of America Stadium. She was joined by local power brokers, who pitched to the NFL delegation the Queen City's strength - a walkable area in the uptown, hosting experience and the support of the business community.

Erik Spanberg of CBJ reported previously that the Charlotte Sports Foundation was leading a bid for the Panthers' parent company Tepper Sports & Entertainment to secure the draft. WSOC reported that the foundation confirmed an NFL group visiting Charlotte but did not disclose any details. The NFL did not respond to a comment request.

The outline of the plans for the trip stated that local leaders who were involved in impressing the league representatives included Kieth Cockrell of Bank of America (NYSE BAC), Janet LaBar of Charlotte Regional Business Alliance, and Adam Sperling. Adam Sperling was recently appointed head of professional golf to Quail Hollow Club. Many of the presenters were part of the local delegation that travelled to Kansas City.

After the pitch, NFL executives toured First Ward Park to determine if it could be the site of the draft.

Will Pitts sent an email to 13 civic and business leaders that evening, thanking them for their participation.

WSOC reported that he said: 'I think they were impressed by the city and our southern hospitality as well as overall, the excitement and support shown by our community for this opportunity.' I want to thank you all again for the time and effort that each of you put in to bring the NFL Draft here to Charlotte.

According to the Kansas City Business Journal, this year's NFL Draft attracted an estimated 312,000 attendees over a three day extravaganza featuring football-related activities. The Kansas City Business Journal reported that officials there estimated the event to contribute $125,000,000 to the local economy. The first round of the NFL playoffs alone attracted 11,29 million viewers across ESPN, ABC, and NFL Network.

This week, the leagues will meet in Minneapolis to discuss the future of the draft. The site for the 2025 event should also be discussed. If Charlotte's bid wins, it would mean that the city will host in 2026.

NoDa Restaurant vandalized before drag charity event

Artisan’s Palate, a restaurant in NoDa, was vandalized on the weekend just hours before it was scheduled to host a charity drag brunch. The Charlotte Observer reported that the owner Christa Csoka said it was unclear whether or not the break-in had anything to do with the drag brunch, since police are still investigating the incident and no arrests were made. The newspaper reported that the drag shows have been the subject of hate in the past. A clip appeared on Fox News, and Csoka received death threats.

However, the show went on. The event raised over $2,000 for Carolina Breast Friend. This local nonprofit supports men and women who are battling breast cancer.

Csoka said to the Observer that he would not let such a thing stop him.

The Artisan's Palate, a new art gallery and coffeeshop that combines a wine bar, small plates restaurant and artisan's cafe opened in 2019. According to its social media, it aims to support artists, musicians and women in the local community.

Local entrepreneur behind Tucky lands deal on 'Shark Tank'

Axios reports that local entrepreneur Brooke Knaus was featured on ABC's "Shark Tank," which premiered this week, and she walked away from the episode with a deal between Daymond John. Knaus created Tucky, an accessory for the wardrobe that lets the wearer tuck their shirt in or turn it into a crop-top.

She told Axios the product was sold out on line shortly after the episode aired. This is a common occurrence for companies who appear on the popular show.

Symone Graham, CBJ's Symone will be catching up this week with Knaus to discuss her experience on the program and what is next. Stay tuned.

Two people killed in SouthPark fire, which was caused by accident

Charlotte Fire Department confirms that the SouthPark fire that gripped the city last weekend was an accident. Two bodies were found in the debris. WSOC reported earlier that two men from Atlanta's Prestige Windows and Doors died in the fire.

Although the exact cause of the fire has yet to be determined, it is believed that it started in a trailer used for spraying foam insulation on the ground level. The fire quickly spread through the apartment complex, which was under construction by Mill Creek Residential in Florida. It grew to a five alarm fire.

Charlotte Fire Chief Reginald Johnson told a press conference a day after the fire that 'we rarely have large fires this magnitude'. The Charlotte Fire Department would like to send their condolences on behalf of its men and women to the victims' family members and friends.

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