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Fan Fest for the Carolina Panthers will require one additional step for the team’s fans this time – you must reserve and print out a free ticket first.
The Panthers said Monday in a press release that this extra step for the free event to be held on Friday, Aug. 5, was because of the “overwhelming demand last year and general precautions for fan safety.”
After many years of Fan Fest drawing approximately 15,000 to 25,000 fans at Bank of America Stadium, a record crowd of 55,060 supporters showed up in 2015 for the free practice and the fireworks and laser show that follows it. This year’s event figures to draw at least a similar crowd given that Carolina had a 17-2 overall record last season, won the NFC and advanced to the Super Bowl before losing it.
Here’s how to get your ticket: They will be available on a first-come, first-served basis beginning Friday at 10 a.m. by clicking “Fan Fest Tickets” in the “Hot Topics” section on the homepage of Panthers.com or else by choosing “Fan Fest” in the Tickets dropdown menu on the same website. Tickets are limited to six per household and can be printed at home starting Aug. 1.
So, again, you can reserve the tickets starting this Friday – and I would advise doing that right away – but you can’t print them until Aug. 1. The Panthers have inevitably created a secondary market for ticket scalpers by doing this – hey, anybody want to buy free ticket for 10 bucks? – but I understand the reasoning. They won’t get overwhelmed by the crowd this time around.
Fans in attendance will receive a 2016 team roster photo card with a 2016 schedule. Stadium gates open at 6 p.m. on Aug. 5 with performances by the TopCats, Sir Purr, PurrCussion and Black & Blue Crew. Practice begins at 7:30 p.m. and will include individual drills as well as seven-on-seven, special teams and team periods. The event will be capped with a concert by Sol Fusion and the fireworks and laser show.
▪ In the meantime, if you are interested in some free Panthers insight as we are awaiting the 2016 season, come to the North County Regional Library in Huntersville on Saturday at 2 p.m.
I will present a slideshow featuring photos of the Carolina Panthers, answer questions about the current team and give out some door prizes. This fast-paced event is sponsored by the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library and is free and appropriate for both children and adults (but you won’t enjoy it much if you are not a Panthers fan). Pre-registration is suggested but not required.