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Lowe’s Kickoff Party for Panthers’ arrival set for Friday

 Wofford College hosts NFL team for 21st summer training camp

Panthers party
TopCat cheerleaders, mascot Sir Purr and lots of other entertainment await fans at the Lowe's Kickoff Party and Mayors Ball Run on Friday, July 31, at Wofford's Gibbs Stadium.

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Carolina Panthers return Friday to Wofford College for the NFL team’s 21st consecutive year of summer training in Spartanburg. The Lowe’s Kickoff Party and Mayors Ball Run will be held beginning at 4:30 p.m. at Gibbs Stadium with the first practice scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will include performances by TopCats cheerleaders, mascot Sir Purr and the Black & Blue Crew, along with a “Two States-One Team” drumline showcase.

Food trucks will offer a variety of fare for purchase, and there will be merchandise and souvenirs available as well.

Panthers’ practices are a terrific opportunity to get close to the action and see your favorite Panthers players begin the 2015 season, says Riley Fields, Panthers director of community relations. “The Lowe’s Kickoff Party is a free, family-style football bash that will have the feel of an excitement-filled, high-energy game-day setting in Wofford’s beautiful Gibbs Stadium.”

The camp has worked to enhance the first-class experience fans have enjoyed since 1995. With the help of Lowe’s, new fan amenities have been implemented and the grounds beautified to create a pristine environment.

All 14 practices scheduled at training camp, which concludes Aug. 20, and additional activities are free and open to the public.

One week into the Panthers’ stay at Wofford, the team will return to Charlotte for Fan Fest at Bank of America Stadium on Friday, Aug. 7, from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Following the first preseason game against the Buffalo Bills on Aug. 14, the Panthers will wrap up training camp with joint practices with the Miami Dolphins on Aug. 19 and 20. The two teams will play each other at Bank of America Stadium in Week 2 of the preseason on Aug. 22.

Academy Sports + Outdoor again will present Panthers Pals, a special experience especially for children. Panthers Pals offers five lucky children between the ages of 6 and 13 an opportunity to watch part of practice from field level and then spend time with a player afterward. They can register to be a Panthers Pal at the Academy Sports tent at the entrance to the practice fields.

For a full practice schedule (subject to change without notice), go to:

Parking/Shuttle Options for Fans Attending Panthers Training Camp:

Wofford Campus Parking (throughout training camp):
• Free daily parking is available on the Wofford College campus adjacent to Gibbs Stadium via Cumming Street or Twitty Street from Pine Street. Other on-campus parking can be found in lots off Osage Street and Pearl Street, including Calvary Baptist Church; best accessed from Pine Street to Pearl Street.

Friday, July 31, through Sunday, Aug. 2:
• Additional parking is available for Friday’s Lowe’s Kickoff Party at:
    o Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium (385 N. Church St.) – within walking distance to training camp
    o Spartanburg County Administration Building (366 N. Church St.) – after 5 p.m. Friday; within walking distance of training camp
    o The Village parking lot on the Wofford campus, located on the corner of Pearl Street and Osage Street (access from Pine Street to Pearl Street)
    o Calvary Baptist Church on North Church Street, located on the corner of Pearl Street and North Church Street (access from Pine Street to Pearl Street)
• Additional parking and free round-trip shuttle service will be available from downtown Spartanburg Friday, July 31; Saturday, Aug. 1; and Sunday, Aug. 2. Training camp shuttles will board at 100 Dunbar St. in downtown. Service begins 2 hours before practice is scheduled to begin.

Daily Hub City Hopper Shuttle Service (beginning Monday, Aug. 3):
• The Hub City Hopper Shuttle will provide fans with a direct shuttle to and from downtown Spartanburg for convenient dining and shopping. The service runs daily from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fans can board the shuttle from the Twitty Street traffic circle adjacent to the main spectator entry gate with downtown pick up/drop off at 100 Dunbar St.

(Note: If traveling to Spartanburg south on I-85 - from Charlotte, for example - due to construction on I-585, expected to last through Monday, Aug. 3, take the Highway 9 exit and then take Pine Street to training camp.)