Although the Panthers won't know their playoff opponent until next weekend, they will start selling individual tickets for the game much sooner than that. The Panthers' home playoff game will be played Sat., Jan.10th at 8:15 p.m. against either Atlanta, Arizona or Minnesota.
Panthers' ticket guru Phil Youtsey told me in the locker room Sunday that the team had discussed several dates for individual ticket sales. Traditionally, Carolina sets aside 10 percent of the stadium (or about 7,000 tickets) to be sold individually, almost all of those tickets being in the upper deck. PSL holders will get roughly the other 90 percent of the stadium.
The only thing Youtsey could say for sure was that individual tickets WON'T go on sale Monday. More likely, it will be later in the week -- maybe Thursday (that's New Year's Day, so more people would be home and could try to get them). And you better be ready with a quick computer mouse or cell phone when it happens -- I would guess those 7,000 or so tickets will sell out in less than 30 minutes.
Who will Carolina's home playoff opponent be?
My guess is the Minnesota Vikings, who beat Carolina 20-10 earlier this season in Minneapolis. The Vikings clinched the No.3 seed today. So if Minnesota wins its playoff game, that will definitely be the Panthers' foe, as the No.1 seeded N.Y. Giants get the benefit of playing the lowest-seeded team left after the first playoff weekend (either No.4 Arizona or No.5 Atlanta).