By Zach Goins
October 7, 2020 (updated)
Back in 2019, the Panthers announced their intentions to move the team’s headquarters across the border to Rock Hill, South Carolina, but since then not many details have been released about what to expect from the new facility.
That changed in October, when the team revealed its first renderings for the sprawling new 240-plus acre complex dubbed “The Rock.”
The mixed-use site designed for Tepper Sports & Entertainment will become a destination for Panthers fans across the region. For the team, the development will house essentially everything an NFL club needs to operate, from practice fields, weight rooms, and recovery areas on the sports side of things, to all of the business offices on the corporate side.
When the Panthers hit the practice field at the new facility, they’ll have plenty of options to choose from, with three outdoor natural grass fields, plus an indoor and outdoor turf field. The massive team weight room will cover 20,000 square feet, including offices, a fuel bar, a 5,000-square-foot cardio mezzanine, and a 6,000-square-foot team locker room. When it comes to recovery, players will have access to 5,000 square feet of hydrotherapy treatment in a steam room, sauna and infrared sauna to assist in rehab, as well as underwater treadmills and hot/cold plunge pools. The complex also includes an 18,000-square foot dining area, 3,000-square foot recovery suite and a 160-seat team meeting room.
The state-of-the-art facility will extend far beyond just football, though. When all is said and done, “The Rock” will become a destination for people across the Carolinas, not just football fans. Eventually, the complex will feature restaurants, retail, a healthcare facility, apartments, hotels, trails and office space.
Among the public amenities are “The Park,” a 5,000-seat outdoor stadium built for football practices, as well as a wide variety of public events.
“‘The Park’ itself, with its scalability between 5,000 and as high as 20,000, I think is a great platform for festivals, concerts– all kinds of large ticketed events,” Mark Hart, VP and chief operating officer of Tepper Sports & Entertainment, said in an interview with Panthers.com. “We are working with the Rock Hill school district to make that available for high school sports, high school football, and all kinds of high school activities: proms, gatherings, conferences, and educational programs.”
Another highlight is “The Grove,” an open space that acts as the metaphorical “front door” to the complex, designed with reflecting pools, trails, lighting and manicured landscaping.
While the headquarters will certainly help the Rock Hill area by attracting plenty of visitors upon its expected completion in 2023, the benefits have already begun. Located near mile marker 81 on I-77, the project will result in a brand new interchange on the interstate, as well as 13,000 feet of new public streets, 2,600 parking spaces, sidewalks and trail networks, all greatly benefiting the local infrastructure.
Construction on the new facility began in June and is scheduled to be completed in May of 2023. Check out more renderings from Panthers.com.