Inside the Panthers

Carolina Panthers turn Wofford facility into a practice field in a park

Fans watching Carolina Panthers training camp practices at Wofford College will do so in a park-like setting produced through a partnership between the team and Lowe’s Home Improvement.
Fans watching Carolina Panthers training camp practices at Wofford College will do so in a park-like setting produced through a partnership between the team and Lowe’s Home Improvement. jperson@charlotteobserver.com

The Carolina Panthers have brought their “stadium in a park” vision to training camp.

Fans arriving at Wofford on Saturday will find a gentler slope to the hill overlooking the practice fields, a tiered tee box-type seating area and thousands of freshly planted flowers and shrubs like those found outside Bank of America Stadium.

The beautification efforts are the result of a partnership between the Panthers and Lowe’s, the Mooresville-based, home improvement company that supplied the landscaping materials, flower planters, lawn furniture and white picket fencing that give the Wofford practice fields a cleaner look not unlike Augusta National.

“That’s exactly what we were trying to capture,” Panthers president Danny Morrison said Friday while giving an Observer reporter a tour of the improvements.

Work began May 1 to re-grade and re-sod the hill to make it more comfortable for fans to sit through the two-hour training camp practices. Workers planted nearly 2,000 flowers and spread 200 yards of mulch in a project that wrapped up a couple of days before the Panthers reported to Wofford.

Morrison declined to divulge the cost of the improvements, other than to say “it was expensive.”

But Panthers owner Jerry Richardson believes the money was well spent, according to Morrison.

“Mr. Richardson is laser focused on a pristine, stadium in the park,” Morrison said. “It made sense to take training camp and have training camp in a park-like setting.”

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