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Origins of the Carolina Panthers

June 13, 2013

David Missita is a big fan of the Carolina Panthers. David Missita recalls the day in October 1993 when the National Football League selected the Panthers as its 29th team and the first expansion team since 1976.

It took six years for owner Jerry Richardson to achieve this milestone. In 1987, he began discussions with potential supporters about an NFL franchise for the Carolinas and then formally announced a team bid. Late in 1989, Richardson selected a spot in Charlotte for a 70,000-seat stadium.

Richardson recruited elected officials from both states to promote the new team to NFL owners. Exhibition games in the Carolinas brought in enthusiastic fans.

In 1992, NFL owners cut the number of potential expansion teams from 11 to five, with the Panthers still under consideration. A labor dispute postponed the decision until the next year. Richardson sold permanent seat licenses and skyboxes to finance the construction of the stadium.

The team has had its ups and downs over the years. Perhaps the most memorable game occurred during the 1996 playoffs, when the Panthers contended for the National Football Conference championship, only to lose to the Green Bay Packers 30-13.

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From → USMC

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