Bank of America Stadium (formerly known as Carolinas Stadium and Ericsson Stadium) is a 73,778-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 Meineke Car Care Bowl which features teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference and the Big East. It will host the 2010 and 2011 ACC Championship Games. The stadium has also been the site for several games featuring the East Carolina University Pirates.
Other sites considered for selection Edit
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 10 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".
The Panthers played their Inaugural Season at Clemson University's Memorial Stadium while the stadium was being completed. The Carolina Panthers played their first game at the stadium on September 14, 1996.
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.
College football Edit
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 late-December Meineke Car Care Bowl has been held in the stadium annually since 2002. The ACC Championship Game was held in the stadium for the 2010 season and is scheduled to be held there again in 2011. The stadium has also hosted four East Carolina Pirates football games, two versus the NC State Wolfpack (in 1996 and 2004), a 1999 game versus the West Virginia Mountaineers and a 2008 game against the Virginia Tech Hokies. The stadium will also host two games between East Carolina and the South Carolina Gamecocks, in 2011 and 2014.
Impact on NFL venuesEdit
At the time of its construction in the early 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. Only a decade after its construction, it is now the eleventh oldest among current NFL stadiums. However, the stadium was considered so far ahead of its time that no significant renovations have been made since it opened. There are only four older NFL stadiums which have not received major renovations (the Edward Jones Dome, Louisiana Superdome, and Arrowhead Stadium are now undergoing renovations, and Giants Stadium and Texas Stadium are now demolished.). The last four to open before the stadium broke ground were Candlestick Park in 1972, Ralph Wilson Stadium in 1973, Sun Life Stadium in 1987, and the Georgia Dome in 1992.
Since Bank of America Stadium opened in 1996, twenty-one other teams have moved into new facilities, an average of 1.9 new facilities opening each year.
The most recent addition came in 2007, when the original scoreboards and replay screens were replaced with high-definition monitors and ribbon boards.
Though Bank of America Stadium is mostly used as a football facility, it has hosted events of all kinds throughout its history.
- It has been 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.
- The Rolling Stones performed at the stadium during their Bridges To Babylon Tour on October 10, 1997.
- 'N Sync were scheduled to perform at the stadium during their Pop Odyssey Tour on May 22, 2001, but the show was cancelled.
- A Billy Graham crusade was held there in 1996.
- ↑ "Stadium (panthers.com)". Carolina Panthers. http://www.panthers.com/stadium/. Retrieved 2007-12-25.
- ↑ "Conferences". Raycom. Archived from the original on 2007-12-03. http://web.archive.org/web/20071203192854/http://www.meinekecarcarebowl.com/conferences.htm. Retrieved 2007-12-25.
- ↑ "ACC Football Title Games to Tampa, Charlotte". WRAL.com. December 12, 2007. http://www.wral.com/sports/story/2161744/. Retrieved 2007-12-12.
- ↑ "East Carolina Announces Football Schedules Through 2013". East Carolina University. 2005-06-23. http://ecupirates.cstv.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/062305aaa.html. Retrieved 2007-12-25.
- ↑ 2006 East Carolina Football Media Guide. East Carolina Athletic Department. 2006. pp. 178–179.
- ↑ Hardin, Ed (1996-06-27). "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
- ↑ "International soccer comes to Charlotte". panthers.com. http://www.panthers.com/news/article-1/International-soccer-comes-to-Charlotte/72d7b0de-5dda-47ff-aeb5-15a1ab5b0229. Retrieved 2010-01-30.
- ↑ 'NSYNC PopOdyssey Tour Dates Change - Music, Celebrity, Artist News | MTV
- Charlotte Sports Commission - Bank of America Stadium official website
- Carolina Panthers – Bank of America stadium page
- Meineke Car Care Bowl official website
Clemson Memorial Stadium
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