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Panthers still plan to host training camp in uptown as plans for new facility progress

Panthers still plan to host training camp in uptown as plans for new facility progress

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — All eyes are on training camp as plans to revamp the Carolina Panthers’ training facility progress through city council.

The Panthers haven’t released the full plan for training camp, which starts in late July, but a team spokesman says the team will host the event on practice fields on South Cedar Street.  With the exception of 2020 for the pandemic, the team has held camp since 1995 at Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

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City leaders say the move will be a boon to heart of the Queen City.

“Travel and tourism are the heartbeat of the City of Charlotte,” Malcolm Graham, District 2 City Councilman said. “One in nine individuals work in travel and tourism, so the more activities we have at Panther’s stadium; whether it’s a concert, football games, Charlotte FC or even having a training camp experience brings more local dollars to the economy.”

The Panthers are asking city officials to rezone 12 acres near South Cedar Street which would clear the way for improvements and upgrades to the practice facility. Those include new fields and a fieldhouse with 5,000 seats and a parking area. 
 
“The Panthers are still working in conjunction with the Third Ward Neighborhood Association to come to conclusion in terms of the elevation of the building, as well as some other tree saves at the site on the exterior of the building,” Graham said.

Some community members are throwing a flag on the play because of the height of the proposed field house.

“If you’ve walked down Cedar Street before and you’ve looked over the field and seen that city skyline view it’s beautiful,” said Wesley Clark, a Third Ward resident. “This is going to take away from that, it’s going to take away from the community, it’s going to take away from the city.”

The Atrium Health indoor “bubble” was 65 feet high. It would be replaced by a 70-foot-high field house. The Panthers already have the green light to finish the fields, but the field house needs council approval. 
 
“The first step is getting the approval from council to move forward with the rezoning,” Graham said. “If it’s approved in June, they have to authorization to begin building the field house.” 
 
The Panthers have not released their plan for training camp, but a team spokesman says the team has always had fans at training camp and they hope to continue the tradition closer to home. If City Council approves the rezoning, the construction of the field house could take up to two years. 

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