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Carolina Panthers announce donation to new park for special needs athletes

Miracle Park will be a 15-acre facility where people with different abilities can compete in a full range of sports.

ROCK HILL, S.C. — The Carolina Panthers announced a donation to Rock Hill's Miracle Park Tuesday as the facility prepares to break ground on a 15-acre park. 

Miracle Park is an inclusive place in Rock Hill, South Carolina, where people with all different abilities can compete in a full range of sports. The park is set to open its first phase this summer. Nicole Tepper, wife of Panthers owner David Tepper, was at Tuesday's announcement, along with other Panthers organization representatives and Rock Hill Mayor John Gettys. 

Building the park, estimated to cost $8 million, is being coordinated by the York County Disabilities Foundation. Lane for the park was made available by the City of Rock Hill and Winthrop University. It will be maintained by Rock Hill's recreation and tourism department. 

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Miracle Park is applying to be the first Universal Design certified park in the world with plans to attract tournaments for the Special Olympics and National Miracle League. 

The Panthers have increased their presence since announcing the team's headquarters and training facility would move to York County in 2019. The team will continue to play its home games at Bank of America Stadium in Uptown Charlotte. 

The new development, located just off of I-77, south of the Cherry Road exit, will include a practice facility, offices, restaurants, apartments, hotels, retail and outdoor entertainment. The site will become home to Tepper Sports and Entertainment. 

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According to the Panthers, the indoor practice field will be able to host athletic events, concerts and other corporate events. The indoor training space will also include state-of-the-art amenities for the players including a weight room, locker room and hydrotherapy room.