Every summer, the Carolina Panthers hold their annual NFL training camp on the campus of Wofford College, located in Spartanburg, S.C. 2016 will be the Panthers’ 22nd season at Wofford (the alma matter of their owner Jerry Richardson).
The training camp sessions are open to the public and free of charge. It’s the first chance to check out the Panthers’ new roster each year, so these sessions are usually pretty popular with fans. It’s also an excellent opportunity to get up close to your favorite Panthers, and they’re usually pretty good about signing autographs). In fact, the Panthers ranked in the top 5 in fan-friendly training camps by a Sports Illustrated survey. The best part? It's only about 90 minutes from Charlotte.
If you're heading down, check out these great tips from training camp veteran, professional photographer, and founder of CarolinaHuddle.com, Jeremy Igo.
Take I-85 S to Spartanburg, Exit 72 (I-585). Turn towards Spartanburg and pass over Business I-85. When I-585 becomes Pine St. turn right on Twitty St. The training camp site will be at the second stoplight. Parking is free on top of the hill on your right. There's no charge to watch training camp.
Twitty Street, Spartanburg, SC 29303
2016 Training Camp Practice Schedule
These practices are free and open to the public (subject to change in time, date and location without notice):
Thursday, July 28: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. (at Gibbs Stadium)
Friday, July 29: 3:10 to 5:10 p.m.
Saturday, July 30: 9:25 to 11:30 a.m
Sunday, July 31: 9:25 to 11:30 a.m
Monday, August 1: 9:25 to 11:30 a.m
Tuesday, August 2: No practice
Wednesday, August 3: 9:25 to 11:30 a.m.
Thursday, August 4: 9:25 to 11:30 a.m.
Friday, August 5: 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. (Fan Fest at Bank of America Stadium)
Saturday, August 6: No Practice
Sunday, August 7: 3:10 to 5:10 p.m.
Monday, August 8: 9:25 to 11:30 a.m
Tuesday, August 9: 9:25 to 11:30 a.m
Wednesday, August 10: No practice
Thursday, August 11: (Preseason Game at Baltimore Ravens) - 7 p.m..
Friday, August 12: No Practice
Saturday, August 13: 3:10 to 5:10 p.m.
Sunday, August 14: 9:25 to 11:30 a.m
Monday, August 15: 9:25 to 11:30 a.m
Tuesday, August 16: 9:25 to 11:30 a.m
Unless otherwise noted, practices will be held on the practice fields. Parking is free.
Thursday, July 28
Lowe's Kickoff Party
Celebrate the start of training camp at Gibbs Stadium from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. prior to the opening practice, which begins at 6:30 p.m. Festivities include on-field performances by the TopCats, Sir Purr, PurrCussion and Black & Blue Crew, Mayor's Ball Run delivery, face painting, food, interactive games, sponsor displays and more. Admission is free.
July 29, 30, 31, and August 1, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 13, 14, 15
Panther Pals presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors
Panther Pals offers children ages 6-13 an opportunity to watch part of practice from field level and then spend time with a player afterward. Kids can register to be a Panther Pal at the Academy Kids Field located outside the entrance to the practice fields. Five names will be randomly chosen about 30 minutes before the end of practice. The children selected will receive a Panther Pal T-shirt and will be escorted to a special area to watch the conclusion of practice.
Getting player autographs at training camp
The chance to get up close with the team and get a few signatures is a highlight of the camp for a lot of people. The players are usually more accessible here than any other time during the season. Unfortunately, most of the time, you'll have to make a choice - watch the team practice or be in place for autographs. There's usually a large contingency of people that stay at the field exit the entire day to get autographs. You can do this, but you'd miss all the practice.
You certainly can head to the area once practice ends, but it's more difficult being in back of the pack. My personal recommendation is to get to camp early so you can get some autographs on the way in, and then move over for the practice.