The Carolina Panthers are taking the next steps to return to Wofford College for training camp in 2021.
“We are in discussions with Wofford College and are excited about the possibility of returning to Spartanburg for training camp,” a team spokesperson said in a statement.
When reached by The Observer, Wofford College deferred comment to the Panthers.
Training camp was held at Bank of America Stadium last year due to a league-wide rule that forced all teams to hold camps at their practice facilities in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
The team extended its partnership with a two-year contract that originally went from 2020 through 2021. A return to the school for training camp has been the expectation for some time as the Panthers has been planning to do so over the course of the offseason.
In order to officially get the all-clear to have training camp at Wofford or any other remote site teams may choose, they must submit and get an infectious disease emergency response (IDER) plan approved by the NFL.
The franchise had held camp at the Spartanburg, South Carolina, college every year since the team’s first season in 1995. Founder and previous owner Jerry Richardson attended Wofford and maintains close ties to the school.
It was previously unclear how many more times the team would return due to the building of the new team headquarters and facilities in Rock Hill. The organization has made a push to have a presence in both North and South Carolina.
Due to COVID-19, the opening of that site has been delayed and training camp is not scheduled to move there until 2023 after the facility was previously scheduled to open in Summer 2022.
Fewer and fewer teams are holding camps away from their facilities. Last year, only eight other teams were scheduled to do so: Bills, Colts, Cowboys, Chiefs, Rams, Raiders, Steelers and Washington. Other teams, including the Steelers and Cowboys, have referenced plans to return to other sites for their training camps.
It is not clear yet what the level of fan attendance could look like upon agreement from all parties. Plans for games in 2021 include full stadium attendance. The Panthers are scheduled to host two preseason games in Charlotte.