The Carolina Panthers are a professional American football team based in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Panthers compete in the National Football League, as a club of the leagues National Football Conference South division. The team president is Danny Morrison, and the coach is Ron Rivera. The Panthers were announced as the leagues 29th franchise in 1993 and 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 failed to record another playoff appearance until 2013. After losing in the round to the San Francisco 49ers in 2013 and the Seattle Seahawks in 2014, the Panthers finally returned to the Super Bowl in 2016. The Panthers have reached the playoffs seven times, advancing to four NFC Championship Games and they have won six division titles, one in the NFC West and five in the NFC South. The Carolina Panthers are legally registered as Panther Football, LLC, the team is headquartered in Bank of America Stadium in uptown Charlotte, also the teams home field. They are one of the few NFL teams to own the stadium they play in, the team hosts its annual training camp at Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina. On December 15,1987, entrepreneur Jerry Richardson announced his bid for an NFL expansion franchise in the Carolinas. Richardson drew his inspiration to pursue an NFL franchise from George Shinn, who had made a bid for an expansion National Basketball Association team in Charlotte. Richardson founded Richardson Sports, a partnership consisting of himself, his family, Richardson looked at four potential locations for a stadium, ultimately choosing uptown Charlotte. In choosing the name, the Richardsons did not run focus groups with potential fans. Their intention had always been the Panthers, Jerry Richardson began driving a car with the license plate PNTHRS near the end of 1989, to highlight the demand for professional football in the Carolinas, Richardson Sports held preseason games around the area from 1989 to 1991. The matchups were between existing NFL teams, in 1991, the group formally filed an application for the open expansion spot, and on October 26,1993, the 28 NFL owners unanimously named the Carolina Panthers as the 29th member of the NFL. The Panthers first competed in the 1995 NFL season, they were one of two teams to begin play that year, the other being the Jacksonville Jaguars. Former Pittsburgh Steelers defensive coordinator Dom Capers was named the first head coach, the team finished its inaugural season 7–9, the best performance ever from a first-year expansion team. They performed even better in their season, finishing with a 12–4 record and winning the NFC West division
Head coach Ron Rivera
An exterior view of Bank of America Stadium as seen in 2006.
The team's weight room inside of Bank of America Stadium.