Carolina Panthers Team History
On December 15, 1987, entrepreneur Jerry Richardson announced his bid for an NFL expansion franchise in the Carolinas. A native of North Carolina, Richardson was a former wide receiver on the Baltimore Colts who had used his 1958 league championship bonus to co-found the Hardee’s chain of restaurants and served as president and CEO of TW Services. Richardson drew his inspiration to pursue an NFL franchise from George Shinn, who had made a successful bid for an expansion team in Charlotte, the Charlotte Hornets of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Richardson founded Richardson Sports, a partnership consisting of himself and his family; a number of businessmen from North and South Carolina were also recruited to be limited partners in the group. Richardson looked at four potential locations for a stadium, ultimately choosing uptown Charlotte. To highlight the demand for professional football in the Carolinas, Richardson Sports held a preseason game in the region in 1989, 1990, and 1991. The first two games were held in Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Kenan Memorial Stadium in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, respectively, while the third and final game was held at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, South Carolina. The matchups were between existing NFL teams. In 1991, the group formally filed an application for the open expansion spot, and on October 23, 1993, the 28 NFL owners unanimously named the Carolina Panthers as the 29th member of the NFL.
In choosing the team name, the Richardsons did not run focus groups with potential fans. Their intention had always been the ‘Panthers’; Jerry Richardson began driving a car with the license plate ‘PNTHRS’ near the end of 1989. By the time they had been announced as the 29th NFL team in October 1993, the Panthers’ logo and helmet design had already been finalized, but the uniform design was still under creation. After discussion, the Panthers organization decided on jerseys colored white, black, and blue, and pants colored white and silver. The exact tone of blue, which they decided would be “process blue” (a shade lighter than Duke’s and darker than North Carolina’s), was the most difficult color to choose. The team’s uniform has remained largely the same since its creation, with only minor alterations such as changing the sock color of the team’s black uniforms from blue to black and changing the team’s shoes from white to black. Richardson, a self-described traditionalist, has said that no major uniform changes will be made in his lifetime; the Panthers did, however, change their logo and logotype in 2012, the first such change in team history. According to the team, the changes were designed to give their logo an “aggressive, contemporary look” as well to give it a more three-dimensional feel.
The Panthers played their inaugural season at Clemson University’s Memorial Stadium while the new stadium was being completed. The Panthers played their first game at the stadium on September 14, 1996.
Frank Howard Field at Clemson Memorial Stadium, popularly known as “Death Valley”, is home to the Clemson Tigers, an NCAA Division I FBS football team, located in Clemson, South Carolina. Built in 1941-1942, the stadium has seen expansions throughout the years, with the most recent being the WestZone, which began in 2004 and was completed in 2006.
Bank of America Stadium (formerly known as Carolinas Stadium and Ericsson Stadium) is a 74,455-seat football stadium located on 33 acres (13 ha) of land in uptown Charlotte, North Carolina, USA. It is the home facility of the Carolina Panthers NFL franchise. The largest crowd to ever attend a football game at the stadium was November 18, 2013 when a crowd of 74,225 watched the Panthers defeat the New England Patriots 24-20 during a nationally televised Monday Night Football game.
Carolina started the season 14–0, not only setting franchise records for the best start and the longest single-season winning streak, but also posting the best start to a season by an NFC team since the NFL–AFL merger, breaking the 13–0 record previously shared with the 2009 New Orleans Saints and the aforementioned 2011 Packers. They joined the 1972 Miami Dolphins, 2007 Patriots and 2009 Indianapolis Colts, all from the AFC, as the only teams to reach 14–0. Carolina clinched their third straight NFC South title on December 6, when the Atlanta Falcons lost earlier that day, becoming the first team to clinch a playoff berth that season, and giving the Panthers a home playoff game for the third consecutive year.
The Panthers’ undefeated streak came to an end at the hands of the Falcons in a Week 16 rematch. A week later, however, Carolina routed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to finish 15–1, giving the Panthers home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs for the first time in franchise history.
In the playoffs, the Panthers defeated the Seattle Seahawks 31–24 in the divisional round, avenging their elimination at the hands of the Seahawks from the previous season. The Panthers then blew out the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC Championship game by a score of 49–15, but lost to the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50 by a score of 24–10, thus becoming the fifth straight team to have at least 15 victories and not win the Super Bowl.
The Carolina Panthers are a professional American football team based in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Panthers compete in the National Football League (NFL), as a member club of the league’s National Football Conference (NFC) South division. The club is worth approximately US$1.56 billion, according to Forbes, and is controlled by founder Jerry Richardson and his family, who have a 48 percent stake; the remainder of the team is held by a group of 14 limited partners.
1995 – Present National Football League
Panthers – Team owner Jerry Richardson’s son Mark is responsible for the selection of Panthers as the team name. Mark, who felt that there should be some “synergy” between the name and the team colors also suggested the team colors of black, blue and silver.
1995 – Present Charlotte Panthers
Super Bowl 0
1996 – Present Bank of America Stadium
1995 Memorial Stadium
1995 – Present Jerry Richardson
51 Sam Mills
1995 – Present Sir Purr
*Blue is this team’s history