Spartanburg, SC (WSPA) – It’s official: The Carolina Panthers will not be back in Spartanburg for training camp this summer.
Businesses in the Spartanburg area. especially those close to Wofford’s campus reaped the benefits of the Panthers and their fans coming to this area every year during training camp.
But no players means no crowds, which means no extra customers for local businesses.
As donuts at the Krispy Kreme store nearby roll out hot and fresh, customers line up to devour them.
“I’m the longest serving franchisee for this company in the world, 41 years,” Krispy Kreme owner Sen. Glenn Reese said.
Sen. Reese has served the Spartanburg community for 30 years as an elected official.
Since 1964, his Spartanburg Krispy Kreme location has been down the street from Wofford.
When the Carolina Panthers started having training camp at the college, donuts were a big draw for the players and their fans from all over.
“They come from Greer, Greenville, Lockhart, Union, Rutherford, Spindale, Forest City,” Reese said.
Now, the pandemic has changed things.
All 32 NFL teams have been told by the NFL Commissioner to hold training camps in their home facilities due to Covid-19.
“You can’t build your business around one big event. You’ve got to have a day-in day-out business that sustains itself,” Reese said.
It’s a model that’s helped him build a solid business over the years that doesn’t fluctuate much when events cancel.
The Carolina Panthers are building a training facility in Rock Hill, which will take the team away from Spartanburg for good, but the plan was to bring that practice back to sparkle city, one more year.
Business owners, though, understand the need to choose health over profit.
“With this situation, why would they come down here and put all those players in those dorms around each other? It’s probably a logical thing to do to save money and not expose them to the virus on each other,” Reese said.
While this recent announcement gives direction on how to move forward with training camps, there’s no word yet on how the NFL season will procede for 2020
The Panthers will be holding their 2020 training camp in the Bank of America practice field in Charlotte