The Carolina Panthers are a professional American football team based in Charlotte, North Carolina. They compete in the National Football League (NFL), as a member club of the league's National Football Conference (NFC) South division. The Panthers were founded in 1993 by Jerry Richardson and since then have become one of the most well-known NFL teams. But when did they join the NFL? And how have they done since then? In this blog post, we will explore the history of the Carolina Panthers and their place in the NFL.
The Carolina Panthers joined the NFL in 1995
The Carolina Panthers joined the NFL in 1995 as an expansion team. The Panthers were originally going to be called the Charlotte Hornets, but then-owner Jerry Richardson changed the name to the Panthers after a fan vote. The team has been based in Charlotte, North Carolina since their inception.
The Panthers had a rough start, winning just four games in their first two seasons. But they quickly turned things around and made the playoffs in just their third year of existence. They would go on to win the NFC Championship in 1996 and make it all the way to the Super Bowl in 2003.
The Panthers remain one of the league’s most popular teams, thanks in large part to their diehard fans who have remained loyal through thick and thin.
They were created as an expansion team
In 1993, the Carolina Panthers joined the National Football League as an expansion team. The Panthers were created as part of the NFL's expansion into the southern United States. The team's first season was in 1995.
The Carolina Panthers became the 29th team in the NFL when they were awarded the franchise on October 26, 1993. Jerry Richardson, a former player for the Baltimore Colts, was awarded the Panther’s ownership. The name “Carolina Panthers” was chosen through a fan vote.
The Carolina Panthers played their first game in 1995 against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Jacksonville, Florida. The game ended in a 20-14 victory for the Jaguars. The first touchdown in franchise history was scored by wide receiver Wesley Walls.
Jerry Richardson was the owner of the team when they first joined the NFL
Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson made headlines in 2018 when he announced that he would be selling the team. But before he was known as the man who would bring an NFL team to Charlotte, Jerry Richardson was just another businessman with a dream.
Richardson was born in Spring Hope, North Carolina and grew up in Fayetteville. He played football at Wofford College before serving in the Air Force. After his time in the military, Richardson returned to Wofford to finish his degree and then began working in the food service industry. He eventually started his own company, Flagstar, which became one of the largest food service companies in the country.
In 1987, Richardson began exploring the idea of bringing an NFL team to Charlotte. He formed a group called Carolinas Partnership which worked to gather support for the project. In 1993, the NFL awarded Charlotte an expansion franchise and Jerry Richardson became the owner of the Carolina Panthers.
The Panthers played their first season in 1995 and made it all the way to the NFC Championship game in their second year of existence. Since then, they have been one of the most successful teams in the NFL winning six division titles and reaching two Super Bowls.
Jerry Richardson is a true success story. He took a risk by investing in an NFL team and it has paid off big time for him and for Charlotte. The Panthers are one of the most popular teams in the league and have brought a lot of pride and joy.