The Carolina Panthers are a professional American football team based in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Panthers compete in the National Football League (NFL), as a member club of the league’s National Football Conference (NFC) South division. The team is headquartered in Bank of America Stadium in Uptown Charlotte; the stadium also serves as the team’s home field. The Panthers are supported throughout the Carolinas; although the team has played its home games in Charlotte since 1996, they played their home games at Memorial Stadium in Clemson, South Carolina during its first season. The team hosts its annual training camp at Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Along with the New England Patriots, it is one of only two teams to represent multiple states.
The Panthers were announced as the league’s 29th franchise in 1993, and began play in 1995 under original owner and founder Jerry Richardson. The Panthers played well in their first two years, finishing 7–9 in 1995 (an all-time best for an NFL expansion team’s first season) and 12–4 the following year, winning the NFC West before ultimately losing to the eventual Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game. They did not have another winning season until 2003, when they won the NFC Championship Game and reached Super Bowl XXXVIII, losing 32–29 to the New England Patriots. After recording playoff appearances in 2005 and 2008, the team failed to record another playoff appearance until 2013, the first of three consecutive NFC South titles. After losing in the divisional round to the San Francisco 49ers in 2013 and the Seattle Seahawks in 2014, the Panthers returned to the Super Bowl in 2015, but lost to the Denver Broncos. Since then, the team has appeared in the playoffs only once, in 2017. The team’s five NFC South titles since the division’s establishment in 2002 rank second only to the New Orleans Saints.
As of 2021, the Carolina Panthers remain the newest club in the NFC. The franchise is legally registered as Panther Football, LLC. and are controlled by David Tepper, whose purchase of the team from founder Jerry Richardson was unanimously approved by league owners on May 22, 2018. The club is worth approximately US$2.3 billion, according to Forbes.