Carolina Panthers cornerback Ken Lucas (#21) run with the ball as during a game against the Houston Texans at Bank of America stadium. The Carolina Panthers, professional American NFL football team that represents both North Carolina and South Carolina, is based in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Panthers began playing in 1995 as part of the National Football League?s expansion program. They are members of the National Football Conference (NFC) South Division. They play in the Bank of America Stadium, located in downtown Charlotte.