CHARLOTTE – The Carolina Panthers are the Charlotte Chamber's inaugural Economic Growth Champion of the Year.
The award was a part of the first Economic Growth Recognition Dinner in Charlotte on Wednesday.
"We are truly honored to be the inaugural recipient of this esteemed award," team president Danny Morrison said. "We have the best fans in the NFL, and without their tremendous support over the years, this would not have been possible."
A University of South Carolina study in 2012 – before the team's string of three consecutive playoff berths and the appearance in Super Bowl 50 – concluded that the Panthers' annual economic impact is $636 million, including $512 million annually in Mecklenburg County.
The Panthers have sold out 143 consecutive games at Bank of America Stadium.
"The team's Super Bowl run last season brought unprecedented exposure to Charlotte and engaged its fan base in an incredible ride," said Jeffery Edge, the Chamber's senior vice president for economic development. "Many corporate decision makers engaged by the Chamber's economic development recruitment team remarked how they had followed the success of the Panthers through the course of the season.
"Charlotte competes for economic development projects on a daily basis with other NFL cities such as Atlanta, Nashville, Dallas, Jacksonville and Tampa. Having name recognition and exposure is an incredible benefit when competing with these and other cities."
View images of players, fans and the atmosphere they create at Bank of America Stadium.