Bank of America Stadium
|The stadium in 2006|
|Former names||Panthers Stadium (planning)
Carolinas Stadium (planning)
Ericsson Stadium (1996–2004)
|Location||800 South Mint Street
Charlotte, North Carolina 28202
|Owner||Panthers Stadium LLC|
|Operator||Panthers Stadium LLC|
|Field size||132 yds long x 93 yards wide (121 x 80 m)|
|Surface||Voyager Bermuda Grass|
|Broke ground||April 22, 1994|
|Opened||September 14, 1996|
|Renovated||2007, 2014, 2015|
|Expanded||1997, 1998, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2014|
|Construction cost||$248 million
($373 million in 2015 dollars)
|Architect||Populous (then HOK Sport)|
|Structural engineer||Bliss and Nyitray, Inc.|
|Services engineer||Lockwood Greene|
|General contractor||Turner/F.N. Thompson|
|Carolina Panthers (NFL) (1996–present)
Belk Bowl (NCAA) (2002–present)
ACC Championship Game (2010–present)
Bank of America Stadium (formerly known as Carolinas Stadium and Ericsson Stadium) is a 74,455-seat football stadium located on 33 acres (13 ha) of land in uptown Charlotte, North Carolina, USA. It is the home facility of the Carolina Panthers NFL franchise. It also hosts the annual Belk Bowl, which features teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference and the Southeastern Conference, and the annual ACC Championship Game through 2019. The largest crowd to ever attend a football game at the stadium was on November 18, 2013 when a crowd of 74,225 watched the Panthers defeat the New England Patriots 24-20 on Monday Night Football.
Other sites considered for selection
The organization had considered several possible sites for the stadium's location before choosing the Charlotte center city site. Part of the site was occupied by the historic Good Samaritan Hospital.
One alternative was near NASCAR's Charlotte Motor Speedway and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in northeast Mecklenburg County. Another was at the intersection of I-85 and US 74 in western Gaston County. A popular option was to locate the facility near Carowinds amusement park, with the 50 yard line being on the state border of North Carolina and South Carolina.
The stadium, originally known as Carolinas Stadium (this name is used when the stadium hosts FIFA events), opened in 1996, as Ericsson Stadium after the Swedish telecom company LM Ericsson purchased the naming rights to the stadium in a ten-year, $25 million agreement. In 2004, the stadium received its current name after Bank of America purchased the naming rights for 20 years. Since Bank of America has acquired naming rights, many fans now refer to the stadium as, "The Bank", "The BOA", or "BOFA" and most recently "The Vault".
The Panthers played their inaugural season at Clemson University's Memorial Stadium while the stadium was being completed. The Panthers played their first game at the stadium on September 14, 1996 and have played every home game at the stadium ever since.
In 1996, on their way to their first NFC Championship Game, they defeated the defending Super Bowl Champion Dallas Cowboys. Again they defeated the Cowboys on their way to Super Bowl XXXVIII in Houston in 2004. They were handed their first ever home playoff loss to the Arizona Cardinals by a score of 33–13 on January 10, 2009. The Panthers suffered another home playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers 23-10 on January 12, 2014. On January 3, 2015, the Panthers won their first home playoff game in 12 years, defeating the Arizona Cardinals 27-16.
Impact on NFL venues
At the time of its construction in the mid-1990s, the stadium was a pioneering project for the use of Personal Seat Licenses. It was the first large-scale project funded in the United States chiefly through securing PSLs. The strength of PSL pledges impressed NFL owners and resulted in the Carolinas receiving the first new expansion team in nearly two decades.
The stadium is also credited with being a major cause for the recent round of new stadium construction in the NFL. A decade after its construction, it was the eleventh oldest among then-current NFL stadiums. However, the stadium was considered so far ahead of its time that no significant renovations had been made since it opened. There were only three older NFL stadiums which had not received major renovations as of 2006. The last three to open before the stadium broke ground were Ralph Wilson Stadium in 1973, Sun Life Stadium in 1987, and the Georgia Dome in 1992. However, Ralph Wilson Stadium underwent a $130 million renovation during the 2014 offseason, Sun Life Stadium is undergoing renovations and the Georgia Dome is likely to be demolished once replaced by the Atlanta Falcons' new stadium.
Up until the 2013 offseason, Bank of America Stadium underwent few technological changes since its opening. The most notable change up to that point came in 2007, when the original scoreboards and replay screens from 1996 were replaced with 31.5x77 ft high-definition monitors and ribbon boards.
In 2013, the City of Charlotte and the Panthers agreed to spend $200 million for additional renovations to the stadium. This decision came shortly after Charlotte announced interest in hosting a Super Bowl game in the near future. It was later degraded down to $87.5 million in April 2013 by a City Council vote. The same vote also keeps the team in Charlotte for the next six years and ensured that Bank of America stadium undergoes a five-year renovation plan. In January 2014, the Panthers began the most significant renovations to the stadium in its 18-year history. The upgrades, completed by the start of the 2014-2015 NFL season, included numerous new enhancements. First, two 200x56 ft HD video boards and two 360-degree ribbon boards replaced the previous scoreboards. The ribbon boards were the tallest in the NFL at the time of their installation. Four new escalators were installed for the upper deck. A new surround sound system was also included. Also, six open-air sections on the upper deck, called "fan plazas", were installed. Finally, LED-enhanced glass domes on each of the stadium's entrances were installed, replacing the previous fiberglass domes, along with additional external signage.
Prior to the start of the 2015 season, the Panthers renovated all 158 existing luxury suites to the stadium and added a new private club suite, dubbed "The 32 Club" due to its position at the 32-yard line. In May 2015, the team announced another new club, dubbed the "51 Club", would be added. This new installation decreased the stadium's number of luxury suites to 153. Also, the stadium's wireless service was improved.
Bank of America Stadium does not serve as the primary home stadium for any college football team. However, it has hosted several college football games.
The ACC Championship Game, first Saturday in December, pits the champion of the Coastal Division against the champion of the Atlantic Division; it has been held at the stadium since 2010. In February 2014, the ACC announced a 6-year contract extension to keep the game in Charlotte through 2019.
The Belk Bowl (formerly known as the Meineke Car Care Bowl and the Continental Tire Bowl), taking place in late-December, used to pit a team from the ACC versus a team from the American Athletic Conference. Starting in 2014 the game features the ACC versus the SEC. It has been held annually since 2002.
The stadium has also hosted several East Carolina Pirates games: 1996 and 2004 versus the NC State Wolfpack, 1999 versus the West Virginia Mountaineers, 2008 versus the Virginia Tech Hokies, and in 2011 versus the South Carolina Gamecocks. An additional Pirates-Gamecocks game was scheduled for 2014; however, the game has since been relocated to Columbia, home of the Gamecocks.
In 2015, a game between the North Carolina Tar Heels and the South Carolina Gamecocks will take place at the stadium on opening weekend during Labor Day. It was announced on May 4, 2015 that Belk will be the title sponsor for the game, officially naming it the 2015 Belk College Kickoff Game.
Bank of America Stadium has also hosted several soccer matches over its lifespan. Among the highlights include:
- It was a site of the NCAA Men's Soccer Championship in 1999 and 2000.
- On March 24, 2010, the stadium hosted an international friendly match, between Mexico and Iceland ; it was the first match, between two men's national soccer teams, to be held at the stadium.
- On June 9, 2011, the stadium hosted two first round matches of the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
- On August 2, 2014, the stadium hosted a group stage match of the 2014 International Champions Cup between A.C. Milan and Liverpool F.C. with Liverpool winning 2-0. 69,364 were in attendance, a stadium record for international soccer.
- On July 15, 2015, the stadium hosted a 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup double header of Cuba vs. Guatemala and Mexico vs. Trinidad and Tobago. There were 55,823 in attendance marking the second biggest crowd of the group stage.
- On July 25, 2015, for the second consecutive year the stadium hosted the 2015 International Champions Cup between Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain. 61,224 were in attendance for the game.
- The Rolling Stones performed at the stadium during their Bridges To Babylon Tour on October 10, 1997.
- A Billy Graham crusade was held there in 1996.
- The closing night of the 2012 Democratic National Convention, in which President Barack Obama was expected to deliver his acceptance speech for the Democratic Party presidential nomination, was to be held at the stadium on September 6, 2012. However, due to predictions of thunderstorms, it was relocated to Time Warner Cable Arena.
- "2014 Carolina Panthers Media Guide" (PDF). Carolina Panthers. p. 432. Retrieved August 24, 2014.
- Zeise, Paul (December 22, 2009). "Meineke Bowl Notebook: Wannstedt -- Bowl games are 'healthy'". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved October 23, 2011.
- "Panther Fixes on Keeping Home Fresh". The Charlotte Observer. August 5, 2007. Retrieved October 23, 2011.
- "Clemson, Temple Agree to Charlotte Site". The Post and Courier. April 5, 2006. Retrieved October 23, 2011.
- Spanberg, Erik (January 16, 2004). "Panthers sign BofA for stadium naming rights". Retrieved October 23, 2011.
- "Stadium Credit Cards Offered to Panthers Fans". Spartanburg Herald-Journal. June 28, 1996. Retrieved October 23, 2011.
- Friedlander, Andy (April 25, 1994). "It's up, it's good; Panthers win toss". Spartanburg Herald-Journal. Retrieved September 23, 2011.
- Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2014. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
- Friedlander, Andy (August 29, 1994). "Richardson Learning as Stadium Rises". Spartanburg Herald-Journal. Retrieved March 10, 2012.
- Emporis.com - Bank of America Stadium
- "Stadium (panthers.com)". Carolina Panthers. Archived from the original on 26 December 2007. Retrieved December 25, 2007.
- "Conferences". Raycom. Archived from the original on December 3, 2007. Retrieved December 25, 2007.
- "ACC Football Title Games to Tampa, Charlotte". WRAL.com. December 12, 2007. Retrieved December 12, 2007.
- "ACC championship game to remain in Charlotte for 2 more years". WashingtonPost.com. December 2, 2011. Retrieved December 4, 2011.[dead link]
- "ACC to keep title game in Charlotte for two more years". HamptonRoads.com. December 2, 2011. Retrieved December 4, 2011.
- Hardin, Ed (June 27, 1996). "Panthers' New Home Gets Name That Doesn't Quite Ring". Greensboro News Record. pp. C1.
- Home of Carolina Panthers to be Called Bank of America Stadium
- "East Carolina Announces Football Schedules Through 2013". East Carolina University. June 23, 2005. Archived from the original on January 5, 2008. Retrieved December 25, 2007.
- 2006 East Carolina Football Media Guide. East Carolina Athletic Department. 2006. pp. 178–179.
- "International soccer comes to Charlotte". Carolina Panthers. Archived from the original on February 1, 2010. Retrieved January 30, 2010.
- "Liverpool fans flex muscle at Bank of America Stadium". Charlotte Observer. Retrieved August 4, 2014.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bank of America Stadium.|
- Carolina Panthers – Bank of America stadium page
- Bank of America Stadium at StadiumDB.com
- Belk Bowl official website
- Bank of America Stadium Seating Chart
|Events and tenants|
Clemson Memorial Stadium
|Home of the
|Host of the College Cup
Columbus Crew Stadium