Panthers winning streak fuels local business

Credit: Getty Images

CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 01: Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers celebrates after running for a touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during their game at Bank of America Stadium on December 1, 2013 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

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by RAD BERKY / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @RadBerkywcnc

WCNC.com

Posted on December 2, 2013 at 5:14 PM

Updated Monday, Dec 2 at 9:09 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- After another Panthers victory, fans are looking ahead to next weekend’s game with New Orleans, and some are even looking ahead to the Super Bowl.

“High energy” is how restaurant manager Norm Randall at the Dilworth Neighborhood Grill describes what the Panthers victory streak means to some local businesses.

Randall said he is busy hiring seven new people to help with the crowds that are coming in for the games.

Some of those fans also ride the shuttle to the games from the restaurant.

“We do a free shuttle, and we have since we’ve been open. And it has doubled over the last six or seven weeks.

Around Uptown it was easy to spot people like Herb Kepford wearing their Panthers gear.

“I got to come to see the game yesterday. Came down from Hickory and really enjoyed it,” Kepford said.

Much of that gear around town comes from the Panthers gift shop in the stadium where fans were snapping up almost everything with a Panthers logo.

“I live in New York City, so I am just here for the holiday, and I’m here at the store to stock up on gear to show the pride when I get back,” said Jim Ceresmak who bought a Steve Smith jersey.

Right now there is a tie for which player’s jersey is the most popular with fans, according to store manager, Shawn Lawson.

“Cam Newton and Luke Kuechly. They are our number one and two best sellers,” Lawson said.

There will be more crowds in town this coming weekend when the ACC Championship game is played Saturday night at Bank of America Stadium.

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