SPARTANBURG, S.C. - Wofford College will play host to the NFL’s Carolina Panthers for the 12th year of summer training, as the team opens practices this weekend. The team reports on Friday, July 28, and practice runs from Saturday, July 29, through Wednesday, Aug. 23.
During camp, the Panthers normally will practice twice a day, at 9:10 a.m. and 3:10 p.m., with each practice session lasting between 90 minutes and two hours. (Practice times are subject to change.) Most practices will be held on Wofford’s football practice fields; some 10:30 a.m. practices will be held at Snyder Field. Three evening practices are scheduled, set for 7 p.m. on Monday, July 31; Thursday, Aug. 10; and Thursday, Aug. 17. (For a full schedule, go to www.TeamSpartanburgSC.org.)
All practices are free and open to the public. Rosters will be available at the Spartanburg Convention & Visitors Bureau/Team Spartanburg tent outside the main practice field gates. The Panthers will have a merchandise trailer on site, and concessions will be available.
The Spartanburg community again will celebrate being the host of the Panthers with Panthers Party 2006 to be held from 7 to 10 p.m. on Friday, July 28, at Barnet Park in downtown. Festivities will include Mick Mixon, the “Voice of the Panthers,” as emcee; autographs and performances by Top Cat cheerleaders; and fun with Panthers mascot Sir Purr.
The event is presented by Wofford, the City of Spartanburg and Team Spartanburg, the sports council of the Convention & Visitors Bureau. Panthers players report to camp earlier that day, and they are not expected to participate in the event.
Admission to Panthers Party 2006 is free, with food and drink available for purchase.
The Spartanburg Herald-Journal again is sponsoring the Greatest Panthers Fan, with a category for adults (age 14 and older) and one for youngsters ages 6-13. The winner of the adult category will receive two tickets to a preseason Panthers game; the winner in the kids’ category will be entitled to be a Panther Pal at camp, a special opportunity to meet players and view practice from field level.
A drawing will be held for numerous prizes, including season tickets to Wofford Terriers football and the grand prize of two tickets to a preseason Panthers game.
Local band “No Sweat” will provide musical entertainment, and there will be games and activities for all ages, including free face painting. Video highlights of the Panthers’ 2005 season will be shown, and the evening will conclude with a fireworks display.
For information, call the City of Spartanburg Special Events & Festivals Office at (864) 562-4195; Wofford College at (864) 597-4180; or the Spartanburg Convention & Visitors Bureau at (864) 594-5050 or 1-800-374-TEAM.