Panthers mania hits Spartanburg before training camp

SPARTANBURG (WSPA) – Some very lucky Carolina Panthers fans got quite the surprise at lunch Tuesday.

Luke Kuechly, Shaq Thomspon, and other players passed out food to the diners at the Beacon Drive-In.

Training camp starts Thursday, but some Panthers players are already in town, and getting fans excited for the new season.

The Spartanburg Visitor’s Bureau says thanks to the great season last year, close to 100,000 people are expected to attend training camp.

This means big money for the city, and it gets the players ready for the new season.

Panthers training camp hasn’t even started yet, but players are already getting fans pumped for the 2016 season.

Some players spent the day serving food at the Beacon Drive-In, and taking Spartnaburg county students on a back to school shopping spree.

For residents, seeing the players out and about is the highlight of their day.

For business owners, training camp means new customers.

The visitor’s bureau says last year, $6.5 million from visitor spending directly impacted the county’s economy.

With even more fans this year, that number could reach close to $10 million.

Today some big names on the roster made their way to some popular spots in Spartanburg.

Linebackers Luke Kuechly and Shaq Thompson stopped by a Panther favorite, Krispy Kreme,

before heading to Grouchos

and then to the famous Beacon Drive-In.

Kuechly and Thompson jumped behind the counter serving up fries “a-plenty” and shouting orders just like JC Stroble.

You can check out their adventures through the Carolina Panthers twitter.

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