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More than 99,000 visit Panthers camp in Spartanburg

Hospitality and Tourism
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It’s wasn’t necessarily the total he wanted, but Chris Jennings will take more than 99,000 anyway.

That was the number of visitors who came to Spartanburg this summer for the Carolina Panthers training camp. It was well below the 135,000 the camp drew a year ago, but it was still the second-highest number of visitors to the camp since it came to Wofford College in 2006.

It was the first decline in fan attendance since 2009.

“We set an attendance record seven summers in a row, and while we are disappointed that streak ended this summer, we are still very happy with the results,” said Jennings, executive vice president of the Spartanburg Convention & Visitors Bureau, in a news release.

In 2016, the training camp was bolstered by the fact the Panthers reached the Super Bowl the February before camp. That camp had six days where more than 10,000 fans attended a session. This year, there were three days that had over 10,000 — including one with more than 19,000 fans in attendance

This year, Wofford College and the CVB worked on a schedule showing visitors what they can do during the day at the training camp. The schedule describes where to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as shows different places to check out around downtown Spartanburg.

“This is Spartanburg’s prime time, and summer is in its full glory,” Jennings said. “The Panthers are the crown jewel, and we are not going to let that get dull.”

A full economic impact report of the 2017 Panthers camp is expected in the coming weeks.

Both the city of Spartanburg and Spartanburg County received more than $700,000 in economic activity generated from the camp. That was an increase over the $400,000 reported in 2015. The report also found that state government picked up $2.3 million in economic impact from the camp in 2016, and the camp supported 263 jobs in 2016 compared to 174 in 2015.

 

Panthers camp attendance

Year

Total fans

Variance from prior year

2006

26,164

-

2007

22,103

-4,061

2008

20,626

-1,477

2009

19,429

-1,197

2010

26,760

+7,331

2011

34,243

+7,843

2012

44,255

+10,012

2013

44,382

+127

2014

49,029

+4,647

2015

77,625

+28,596

2016

135,371

+57,746

2017

99,196

-36,175

Source: Spartanburg Convention & Visitors Bureau.

 

Reach Matthew Clark at 864-720-1222.

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