The Charlotte City Council gave tentative approval Friday to a plan that would provide $143.75 million to keep the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte for the next 15 years.

The bulk of the money – $125 million – would go toward upgrades at Bank of America Stadium, the uptown home of the team since 1996. Other money would go toward stadium maintenance and paying for traffic control on game days.

The vote came after a three-hour closed door session by the City Council, including a talk with Panthers owner Jerry Richardson.

Richardson declined to offer specifics on the team’s request with reporters, saying only that “the process is continuing.”

He also tried to deflect questions of the Panthers ever leaving the city.

“I never would want our team to move somewhere else,” he said.

The new deal would help to fulfill Richardson’s goal, at least for the near future. In exchange for money, the team must agree to not leave Charlotte for 15 years. That would keep the Panthers in Charlotte through the 2027 season.