SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – In two weeks, the Carolina Panthers training camp for the 2018 season at Wofford College kicks off.
With the team under new ownership, the future of the franchise’s longstanding relationship with Spartanburg is uncertain past next summer.
That’s when the team’s contract with Wofford expires.
Considering the training camp generated a record $13.2 million in economic impact to the community last year alone, downtown Spartanburg business owners are putting a lot of trust in elected leaders to work with the team’s new owners to keep the camp here.
Places like Delaney’s Pub see an increase in bar patrons.
The owner says he caters to the Panthers fans in town to see their favorite players and wants to keep that tradition going.
“We see a good amount of sales during lunch then anytime they do a special promotion over at the camp we’ll have anywhere from 50 to 150 people come in for it,” said Kevin Moore, owner of Delaney’s.
Fans weighed in as well.
“Spartanburg is growing just like greenville is. They should really stick around because we have a lot of room to grow whereas other places have already reached their max potential,” said Jeremiah Moyer of Spartanburg.
Allen Smith with the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce said the latest economic numbers show the nearly three-week camp also supports more than 260 jobs.
“Panthers fans are conditioned. They know that training camp happens in Spartanburg and they’ve been coming here in droves,” said Smith.
Smith stressed what Spartanburg has built here for the Panthers can’t be done somewhere else overnight.