|Cam's big time, but not that big time. (US Presswire)|
In the first week of the NFL's regular season, the Carolina Panthers will travel to Tampa Bay to play the Buccaneers. But they're going to head south a little earlier than they'd probably like, because of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.
The Panthers play the Bucs on Sunday, September 9, but the DNC is taking place from September 3-6, with President Barack Obama set to deliver his acceptance speech on the final day of the convention ... in Bank of America Stadium.
So, according to Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer, the Panthers plan to head down to Tampa early and "practice in the Tampa area for at least part of the week" prior to the game. The Panthers announced on Thursday that they would practice at IMG Academies in Bradenton, Florida.
Though the Panthers would have three days between the end of the convention and the first game of the year, there's little question that Charlotte will be a security and traffic nightmare for anyone living there.
The Panthers facilities are concentrated downtown and Person points out that they would "likely be within the security perimeter" set up by Secret Service for the President's visit.
Thus, any time the Panthers want to come in and look at film, lift weights, get medical treatment and generally prepare for the game they'd be forced to deal with lengthy delays. Not to mention they'd basically get kicked out of the stadium on Thursday for Obama's speech.
On the bright side, they'll be able to relax and watch the Giants and Cowboys kick off the season, with that game already moved to Wednesday because of the President's speech schedule.
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