As long as the Panthers have been in business, they’ve gone away to training camp at Wofford College in Spartanburg, S.C.
That made sense, as the small private school was the alma mater of owner Jerry Richardson.
But now that David Tepper has bought the team and pledged to build a new training facility, the college and the city are worried that their days of a tourism bump could be coming to an end. The Panthers have a contract to hold camp there through 2019.
“I can assure you that we’re going to make a full court press to try and keep the Panthers right here in Spartanburg,” mayor Junie White said, via Adam Orr of the Spartanburg Herald-Journal. “It’d be a tremendous impact on Spartanburg if we lose that camp.”
Spartanburg County councilman David Britt said talks were ongoing: “Can’t talk about what’s happening behind the scenes, but there is action and it’s being worked on.”
The trend in the NFL in recent years has been for teams to train at their own facilities, and Richardson’s link to the school clearly kept the Panthers moving 85 miles away to get ready for the season.
But the local speculation is that Tepper will look for land near the state line for his new training facility, which would continue the team’s commitment to both North Carolina and South Carolina.