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Team History

On October 26, 1993, after six years of hopeful anticipation, the Carolina Panthers were awarded an NFL expansion franchise. Fireworks exploded over downtown Charlotte as jubilant fans gathered to celebrate the news.

July 16, 1987

The “dream” began on July 16, 1987, when Richardson met in Charlotte with a group of interested parties to discuss the feasibility of entering the multi-city competition for two NFL expansion franchises. On December 15, Richardson made it official. The Carolinas’ hat was in the ring.

After a year of planning

After a year of planning, Carolinas’ bid was bolstered by the addition of Hall of Famer and former Seattle Seahawks general manager/head coach Mike McCormack to Richardson Sports as a consultant for the expansion effort.

December 15, 1989

One of the first orders of business was to select a stadium site. Although sites in both North and South Carolina were considered, Richardson Sports announced on December 15, 1989, the selection of a site in Uptown Charlotte as the future home of a privately financed stadium that would seat more than 70,000 fans.

March 18, 1992

At the March 18, 1992 NFL owners meeting, the number of expansion hopefuls was reduced from 11 to seven. Carolinas’ bid made the cut. A few months later, on May 20, the NFL reduced the list to five communities ¬ including Baltimore, St. Louis, Memphis, Jacksonville and the Carolinas. The finalists’ enthusiasm was somewhat dampened, however, when on October 20, 1992, the NFL owners, citing complications surrounding the ongoing NFL labor situation, voted to delay the expansion vote until their fall 1993 meeting.

on January 6, 1993

Fortunately, on January 6, 1993, the league and its players reached a seven-year Collective Bargaining Agreement. On March 23, 1993, the expansion race officially resumed. On June 3, Richardson Sports revealed its impressive plan to privately finance a 72,300-seat stadium. Sale of Permanent Seat Licenses, club seats and luxury boxes began on July 1. A remarkable 15,000 pieces of mail from first-day orders were collected. By the end of the first day, all 8,314 club seats were sold out and all 104 luxury suites were reserved and ultimately leased. First-day PSL orders totaled 41,632.