SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – Officials with the City of Spartanburg said the camp brings in around $7 million each year.
The last day of the Panther’s training camp practice was canceled and closed off to the public due to the weather. Rain or shine, Panther’s fans came out to support.
“I’m a huge Panthers fan,” said a fan.
“It kinda sucks, because the very last day it’s supposed to go off with a bang. It didn’t go off with a bang, I feel like everybody’s upset, and a lot of people were going to show up today,” said another fan.
The City of Spartanburg said the economic impact branches out into the county.
“A lot of that you can see in downtown, lots of it is in hotels. It spreads out into the county, as well. It’s huge each year,” said Chris George, with the city.
George said the revenue makes up 15% of the county’s sports tourism each year.
Places like the AC Hotel are fully booked.
“Absolutely, the last couple weeks, it’s been tough to get in and the last couple of nights, completely sold out as we’ve had the other team, the Jets coming into town,” said Michael Pope, hotel general manager.
Pope said they have guests from different states coming to visit.
“We love the impact that it brings, seeing families and kids in jerseys, all around,” he said.
The hotel created special food and drinks, like the Panther’s Punch, to be festive.
“Just love to help bring the excitement to town, being the Carolina Panthers expanding here in South Carolina has been a really big focus of ours,” said Pope.
George said having the training camp at Wofford has helped put Spartanburg on the map.
“You’ve seen more interest in Spartanburg. I’m sure there are people who came years ago who’d never heard of Spartanburg,” he said. “Probably some people now who show up from the Carolinas, who get to see us for the first time.”
With everyone hoping for a good start to the season.
“We’re fortunate every year. Of course, we didn’t think we’d continue to have Panther’s training camp this far in the future. Every year we have them return is another great year for us,” said George.
Even with the training camp’s practice being canceled on the last day, George said the city is on track to seeing the same amount of revenue this year.