Charlotte, North Carolina – The Inside Tailgating east coast team has hit the jackpot this spring. Their tailgating adventures continued due to the ineptitude of the Carolina Panthers last football season. Hey now! The crew headed to the Bank of America Stadium on Thursday April 28th to celebrate the Panther’s NFL Draft Party. The kicker? Thousands of Panther fans gathered to take part in the euphoria that accompanies the number one pick in the NFL Draft. Top contenders for first pick we listed on our Inside Tailgating Facebook page: Patrick Peterson, Marcell Dareus, Blaine Gabbert, Nick Fairley, and Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton.
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We have to hand it to the Panthers as they really did open up Bank of America Stadium to the public. Amped fans were invited to free behind the scenes tours of the Panthers team locker room, access to the playing field to hang out and participate in the Primetime Kids’ Combine – featuring activities like field goal kicks and quarterback/wide receiver challenges. Outside of the stadium, the Panthers Pride Rides Vehicle Showcase was the main attraction. The showcase invited loyal Panther tailgaters the opportunity to show off their decked out, custom Panther buses, cars, golf carts, and even a pontoon boat!
All the 2011 draftees gathered at Radio City Music Hall in New York for the induction to the NFL. Back in Charlotte, the draft selection was televised live by ESPN as the Panthers secured a franchised QB – Cam Newton. The fans went wild!! Cheers went up through the stadium as Panther fanatics watched the selection on the jumbotron from the 50-yard line.
As the remainder of the first round selections were announced, fans continued to celebrate as country music star Jason Michael Carroll performed a concert at the South Gate. Inside Tailgating is sending a serious shout-out to the Panthers for bringing the community back inside the veil. We hope the boys can get back on the field this year so we all can see if Cam Newton is truly the man.
Check out more 2011 Draft Party pictures here.
Next up? Rev your engines for NASCAR! We’ll be tailgating the Infield in a few weeks for the Sprint All-Star Race on May 21st followed by the Coca Cola 600.