Panthers will charge fans to attend Fan Fest for first time

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — This year, for the first time, football fans will have to pay to attend the Panthers Fan Fest.

The team said it will charge $5 per ticket for the event on Aug. 4 at Bank of America Stadium.

All the money raised this year will be donated to Carolina Panthers Charities.

[LINK: List of Carolina Panthers charities]

The Panthers say they are charging $5 per ticket because of “an increased demand and precautions for fan safety.”

Tickets will be available on a first come, first served basis, beginning Saturday, July 22 at 10 a.m., through Ticketmaster.com. Tickets are limited to six per household.

[READ MORE: Scalpers cash in on 'free' Fan Fest tickets]

Fan Fest runs from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Fan Katie Capozzi said she will gladly pay the money.

“I think when it's free, more people are going to go and participate,” Capozzi said. “I know this year it’s going to be $5 to go, but it all goes to local charity, which I think is a great idea.”

The team issued free tickets last year for security reasons. They doubled surveillance at the stadium and fans had to go through metal detectors.

An Action 9 investigation also found some people were trying to sell those free tickets online for hundreds of dollars.

A limit of six tickets per household was put in place to prevent that from happening.

The team is currently focused on training camp, which begins in two weeks, and fans will get a look at how a couple of veterans are helping improve the team's defense.

The Panthers brought back Julius Peppers and Captain Munnerlyn after the defense struggled last season.

Linebacker Thomas Davis said they've all been working hard this off-season.

“It’s all about going out and putting the work in,” Davis said. “That’s what we started in OTAs and minicamp. We're going to continue that in training camp and hopefully become the best defense in the league. That’s what we're shooting for.”

Training camp starts July 26 in Spartanburg.

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