On October 26, 1993, NFL owners chose the site of the 29th NFL franchise, and the Carolina Panthers were born. Before long, a stadium for the Panthers was under construction in Charlotte.
According to the Carolina Panthers' website, Panthers were the first expansion team since 1976. The "dream" began on July 16, 1987 when Richardson met in Charlotte with a group of interested parties to discuss the feasibility of entering the multi-city competition for two NFL expansion franchises. On December 15, Richardson officially announced an NFL franchise bid for the Carolinas.
One of the first orders of business was to choose a stadium site. Locations in North and South Carolina were considered. On December 15, 1989, Richardson Sports selected a site in uptown Charlotte as the future home of a privately financed NFL stadium that would seat more than 70,000 fans.
North Carolina has a rich football history, with greats such as Charlie “Choo Choo” Justice of Carolina, Elvin Bethea of North Carolina A&T, Roman Gabriel of N.C. State, Fred Crawford of Duke and Jim Duncan of Wake Forest University. Perhaps the best known monologue about the sport was recorded by actor and comedian Andy Griffith. His “What It Was, Was Football,” was recorded by the Colonial Label in Raleigh, N.C., in 1953.
North Carolina’s rich sports history is showcased at the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame, located on the third floor of the North Carolina Museum of History in downtown Raleigh.
The Hall of Fame, which inducted its first class in 1963, celebrates North Carolina’s contributions to the world of sports through exhibits and educational displays, audio, video, and interactive biographies, plus Richard Petty’s stock car, Meadowlark Lemon’s basketball uniform and other artifacts.
Source: NC Department of Cultural, Natural Resources
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