As the Carolina Panthers scramble for public money to upgrade their stadium, other NFL teams are getting significant help from state and local governments.

Of the 20 stadiums built or renovated since 1997, a year after Bank of America Stadium opened, all but one have used public money. Things as diverse as food, property and hotel taxes and lottery proceeds have supplemented private funds.

And the list doesn’t include three teams currently planning new stadiums or upgrades, each of which expects significant public investment.

A city of Charlotte plan to contribute $144 million toward the Panthers’ improvements in exchange for the team’s promise to stay for 15 years has run into resistance from state legislators who would have to authorize it. And Gov. Pat McCrory and Republican House Speaker Thom Tillis of Cornelius have rejected the team’s request for $62 million from the state.

Meanwhile a bipartisan group of lawmakers is pushing a bill that would allow the city to use existing taxes, though the money falls short of what the team has said it needs. That bill is expected to go before the House Finance Committee this week.

Without public help, and a so-called tether, some fear the team would move.

Last fall, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa privately courted Panthers officials in Charlotte.

Marc Ganis, who has been involved in stadium projects across the country as president of Chicago-based Sportscorp, has seen NFL franchises leave cities, including Los Angeles, Cleveland, St. Louis and Houston.

In the NFL context, he says, the Panthers’ proposal is “well balanced and exceedingly modest.”

“There’s an old saying, ‘penny-wise and pound-foolish,’ ” he says. “That’s the way I view what’s going on in North Carolina right now.”

The Panthers’ case wasn’t helped this month, politically, when the website Deadspin published documents showing the team made $100 million in profit in 2010 and 2011. The team called the report an “incomplete picture” and said its cash flow those years was $66.5 million, in line with other NFL teams.

Last year all 32 NFL teams made Forbes’ list of the 50 most valuable sports franchises in the world. The Panthers ranked 23rd with a value of $1 billion.

At a recent legislative hearing, lawmakers on both the left and the right questioned public help for a private business, especially such a profitable one.

Panthers’ President Danny Morrison, whose team would contribute at least $62 million toward the nearly $250 million upgrade, declined to comment last week on the status of the public funding efforts.

The team has said it has paid more than $215 million in state and local taxes while spending $534 million on construction, improvements and financing for the 17-year-old stadium.

The Charlotte Chamber, which touts professional sports franchises when recruiting outside businesses to the area, has urged lawmakers to help the team.

“We’re saying we have an opportunity to tether the team to the community for 15 years; let’s figure it out,” Charlotte Chamber President Bob Morgan said. “We think it’s reasonable for the state to participate financially.”

The Chamber, he said, wants to “create a sense of urgency and … not let this opportunity get away from us.”

Other cities pay up

Around the country, teams are getting substantial public help.

Since 1997, teams have gotten public help reaching as high as $619 million for Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium, according to a report by Conventions, Sports & Leisure International, a consulting firm.

• The Atlanta Falcons and the city of Atlanta recently struck a deal to build a new $1 billion stadium to replace the Georgia Dome, built in 1992. The team will spend $800 million, with the city of Atlanta using $200 million in existing hotel/motel taxes and millions more to operate it.

• In Minnesota, the Vikings plan to replace the 31-year-old Metrodome. The $950 million cost would be about evenly split between the team and taxpayers.

The city of Minneapolis will spend $150 million from existing convention center taxes – a plan similar to what the General Assembly has proposed for Charlotte. The state would contribute $348 million, funded in part from electronic pull-tabs and bingo, according to the team.

The city will also spend $7.5 million to help operate and maintain the new stadium. The Vikings will spend $13 million for annual costs.

Before the deal was reached, the Vikings had been considered a candidate to move to Los Angeles – the nation’s largest city without the NFL since losing two teams in 1994.