Longtime focus on amateur sports put Rock Hill on map for Panthers HQ

Longtime focus on amateur sports put Rock Hill on map for Panthers HQ
(MELISSA KEY/CBJ)

ROCK HILL, S.C. — The new Carolina Panthers headquarters development in Rock Hill will put the city’s sports scene in the big leagues.

But the groundwork was laid over the last several decades, with Rock Hill’s sports tourism industry building steady momentum over 20 years of facility investment.

Rock Hill now can accommodate a broad range of amateur and professional sports events. And city leaders said that played a role in the Panthers’ interest in Rock Hill.

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“I know some of the earlier conversations were with us trying to sell (ourselves) to the Panthers,” said John Taylor, director of Rock Hill Parks, Recreation and Tourism. “They had a feel for what we did in amateur sports. That fit into their model and what they want to do.”

Taylor said the notoriety of having an NFL team headquarters in Rock Hill will only accelerate the growth of the city’s sports landscape.

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Who will we play? Panthers unveil 2020 NFL schedule Thursday night