Stand and cheer! Rock Hill pep rally invites all to welcome the Carolina Panthers.

A Panthers party is coming, and all of Rock Hill is invited.

Rock Hill will host a pep rally at 10 a.m. Wednesday to welcome the Carolina Panthers. The team’s mascot Sir Purr, its PurrCussion drumline and TopCats cheerleaders will join Mayor John Gettys and S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster at Fountain Park. After a short program, McMaster will sign the Professional Sports Team Incentive Act of 2019, key legislation in an effort to bring Panthers practice facilities across the South Carolina line.

The event is free and open to the public.

Talk of a new practice facility stirred late last year with comments made in Rock Hill by team radio announcer Mick Mixon, as he addressed York County chamber of commerce leaders. Owner Dave Tepper still has not formally announced a decision about the move.

Still, Rock Hill emerged earlier this year as a potential landing spot for the Charlotte NFL franchise. South Carolina lawmakers pushed new legislation through to create $115 million worth of financial incentives aimed at luring the team.

Discussion between city, state and team leaders centers around a more than 200-acre property along I-77, between its Cherry Road and Dave Lyle Boulevard exits. The site isn’t in city limits yet, but could be annexed.

Area leaders say a new practice facility complex could bring yet unseen levels of business, tourism and other growth to Rock Hill and York County. Mentioned possibilities from elected leaders who have been part of conversations with the team include a medical facility, restaurants, retail, hotels, even public transit extension into Rock Hill from the Charlotte system.

Now the city is to the point of welcoming the public to celebrate the Panthers coming to Rock Hill.

What to know

The pep rally is at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Fountain Park, 300 E. Main St. Parking is available at the Elizabeth Lane Parking Deck, 116 S. Elizabeth Lane. There is no cost to the public event.

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