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Carolina Panthers fans can expect cheaper preseason tickets this year

The screaming starts after Panthers practice

Carolina Panthers fans were anxious for the team to take the field for their first practice of training camp Thursday evening at Gibbs Stadium on the campus of Wofford College. Afterwards, the screaming began for the Panthers two most popular play
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Carolina Panthers fans were anxious for the team to take the field for their first practice of training camp Thursday evening at Gibbs Stadium on the campus of Wofford College. Afterwards, the screaming began for the Panthers two most popular play

Carolina Panthers preseason games will cost less, and regular-season games a bit more, under new season-ticket pricing this year.

The Panthers’ season-ticket pricing change affects the seat prices of about 90 percent of Bank of America Stadium. Permanent seat license owners can expect to pay the same total amount for their season ticket package as the team relayed to them earlier this year.

In an email to PSL owners last week, Panthers President Danny Morrison said the new two-tiered pricing structure “better reflects the market value of preseason games compared to regular season games.”

Phil Youtsey, the team’s executive director of ticketing and sponsorship, said the new pricing was determined by NFL-conducted surveys. They showed that fans didn’t want to pay as much for the exhibition games, which don’t count toward the team’s overall record.

The variable pricing structure is now being used by about 29 NFL teams, Youtsey added. There are a number of variations, from a two-tiered pricing structure to three, four and five tiered structures.

Youtsey said the team has received “little feedback” either way from PSL owners. But the new structure means PSL holders won’t make much money if they’re trying to sell their preseason tickets.

“What they ended up doing is making my preseason tickets worthless,” said Rick Sherwood of Greensboro, who, like many fans, said he usually tries to either sell or give his preseason tickets away. Those are now $24, and his regular season tickets are $58.

“When someone hears $24 apiece, they think ‘there’s no way you have decent seats,’” added Sherwood, who has owned three 500-level seats for about 15 years.

The first of the four preseason games the Panthers play is Aug. 11 at 7:30 p.m. against the Baltimore Ravens at Baltimore’s M&T Bank Stadium.

The Panthers said in February that the prices for season tickets would once again go up. About two-thirds of the stadium has gotten an overall increase in ticket prices by $5-$12 from last year, when the Panthers had a perfect record at Bank of America Stadium.

Panthers PSL holders own about 62,000 seats, making up almost 90 percent of the stadium. Each holder has the right to a particular seat at Bank of America Stadium so long as they keep buying season tickets. PSL owners can sell their tickets through the Panthers or other secondary exchanges.

Earlier this month, the Panthers said they’re wrapping up the third phase of stadium renovations, which include security improvements, Internet connectivity and 500-level concourse improvements.

Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera spoke with the media on Wednesday discussing the perception of the team and quarterback Cam Newton.

Katherine Peralta: 704-358-5079, @katieperalta

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