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The Carolina Panthers history formally dates back to 1993, when the NFL awarded the franchise to Charlotte, North Carolina. The Panthers, along with the Jacksonville Jaguars, began play in the 1995 NFL season as expansion teams. They have played in Charlotte since 1996, winning six division titles and two NFC Championships. They were the first NFL franchise based in the Carolinas, and the second professional sports team based in Charlotte, the first being the NBAs Charlotte Hornets.
In 1987, shortly after it was decided that Charlotte would receive an expansion National Basketball Association franchise (the Hornets), former Baltimore Colts wide receiver, North Carolina native and businessman Jerry Richardson met with a group of potential backers to discuss the possibility of bringing an NFL expansion team to the Carolina region. Richardson Sports decided upon a spot in the uptown section of Charlotte to build a privately financed stadium seating more than 70,000 fans.