Jerry Richardson Places a Phone Call to Hugh McColl
April 16, 1987
Until that day, Richardson had told no one of his dream to bring a National Football League team to town, not even his family. He first got the notion when he heard on his car radio that the National Basketball Association had awarded a franchise to George Shinn. But until he called his old friend McColl, who was chairman, president, and CEO of NationsBank, it had been nothing more than a private fantasy.
"I had to humor your dad, because the idea was so ridiculous," McColl later told Richardson's kids, according to a story John Kilgo wrote for Panthers magazine.
After six years, millions of dollars, and with the help of a lot of city leaders, including Bill Lee of Duke Power, McColl, and Max Muhleman, the NFL awarded an expansion franchise to Richardson and his partners. The "ridiculous" had become reality, and Charlotte hit the big time.