This year’s Carolina Panthers training camp at Wofford College brought $8 million to Spartanburg’s economy, up more than 50 percent from last year’s estimated $5.2 million impact.
The 21-day training camp drew 77,625 visitors to last year’s 49,000, according to a research report by Clemson University’s Dr. Bob Brookover. The report estimates locals and visitors spent more than $8 million in connection to the training camp, supporting 174 jobs and generating $1.8 million in local and state tax revenue.
It’s been a good season for Spartanburg, as sports tourism also brough $10.4 million in economic impact from two national softball tournaments this summer. The two events brought 180 teams to Spartanburg, supporting 230 additional jobs and generating $2.46 million in state and local tax revenues.
“Spartanburg and Wofford College hosted 77,625 visitors to watch the Carolina Panthers this summer,” said Chris Jennings, director of the Spartanburg Convention & Visitors Bureau. “That was nearly 60 percent more than the previous record, and we know more of these fans stayed to enjoy our dining, entertainment and attractions.”
Held between July 31 and Aug. 20 at Wofford College this summer, the training camp lets fans observe team practices in Wofford’s 60,000-square-foot Richardson Physical Activities Building. The team has returned to Spartanburg every year since 1995.
The Spartanburg Convention & Visitors Bureau has been tracking the camp since its inception, and Brookover has provided economic impact information in 2011, 2014 and 2015.