Bank of America Stadium

Capacity75 000
Country United States of America
CityCharlotte
ClubsPanthers, Charlotte FC
CategoryDesign awaiting implementation
Cost$800 M
Construction2026–2029

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Bank of America Stadium – design description

What does Bank of America Stadium look like?

Bank of America Stadium (until 2004 as Ericsson Stadium) was built between 1994 and 1996 for the new NFL team, the Carolina Panthers. The facility has undergone various renovations over nearly three decades, but the overall shape of the venue remains unchanged since its opening. The stadium can hold about 75,000 spectators and is located in central business district (Uptown Charlotte).

The facility has served Carolina Panthers players since its inception, and since 2022 it has also played host to Charlotte FC, a new participant of the MLS. MLS. The stadium is actively used, in addition to matches between the two teams that regularly play there, it hosts various occasional soccer and football games, including the annual Duke's Mayo Bowl, as well as music concerts and other events.

When did the plans to upgrade Bank of America Stadium originate?

In 2018, billionaire David Tepper became the new owner of the Carolina Panthers, thus becoming one of the richest among NFL team owners. After Tepper took over the team, suggestions began to appear about a possible major upgrade of Bank of America Stadium, or even the construction of an entirely new venue.

Concrete details did not emerge until June 3, 2024, when plans for a proposed partnership between the Carolina Panthers and the city government were announced. A plan for the largest renovation in Bank of America Stadium's history was then unveiled and the first renderings were made public.The modernization is expected to cost $800 million.

What does the Bank of America Stadium modernization plan entail?

The Bank of America Stadium modernization plan calls for bringing the facility up to modern standards, improving spectator comfort and match experience, while preserving the stadium's character. The scope of work is large, but not revolutionary, and the capacity of the stands is not expected to change much after the reconstruction.

One of the most interesting changes is to be the creation of a special premium zone in the eastern corner, which would be transformed into a multi-level terrace with bars and views of the field on one side and the stadium's surroundings on the other. The choice of the eastern corner is not coincidental, as behind it is Uptown Charlotte with its tall skyscrapers, providing an opportunity to enjoy the spectacular city skyline.

The plan calls for replacing all stadium seating, installing new video screens and a state-of-the-art sound system. Backstage facilities will be upgraded, and concessions stands are to offer more local products. The stadium's facade will also change, with a more modern look and large LED screens.

Access to the stadium will be improved, with special attention paid to the needs of the people with disabilities and safety issues.New outdoor spaces are to be created to accommodate gatherings for various events. The landscape around the stadium will be enhanced with new pathways, greenery, lighting and artistic details.

What are the costs of the Bank of America Stadium renovation?

The renovation is expected to cost $800 million, of which $650 million would come from city funds, and $150 million (and any excess costs) from David Tepper (through Tepper Sports & Entertainment). The city's contribution is to be covered through existing hospitality and tourism taxes – so the plan does not call for any new taxes or increases.

What additional conditions does the Bank of America Stadium modernization plan carry?

Part of the agreement with the city is a clause requiring the Panthers to commit to staying in Charlotte for the next 20 years (a possible relocation would only be possible during the last five years of that period, although in that case the Panthers would have to pay off the rest of the city's obligations incurred in connection with the stadium upgrade).

David Tepper has already invested $117 million in various upgrades at the stadium since taking over the Panthers. In addition to the direct contribution to the new upgrade ($150 million), the Panthers owner is expected to spend a further $421 million over the 20-year term of the agreement on necessary renovations and maintenance of the facility.

What will be the impact of the Bank of America Stadium upgrade?

Adoption of the plan assures the city that the Panthers will remain in Charlotte for years to come. The operation of the stadium not only gives the local community prestige and quality entertainment, but also tangible economic benefits.

The Panthers will avoid major changes and remain in a prime location. The matter of possible construction of a new stadium or even relocation will be postponed for many years.

The direct result of the adoption of the plan will, of course, be a modernized stadium. The facility will look more splendid, spectators will get better match experience and commercial opportunities will increase.

On the other hand, the extent of the changes is not groundbreaking and the facility will largely remain in its current form. In particular, the lack of a roof makes it difficult for it to compete for major events like the Super Bowl with the increasingly more modern stadiums in the NFL. With all this in mind, the extremely high price tag of the upgrade ($800 million) is questionable.

When will the Bank of America Stadium upgrade take place?

On June 24, 2024, the City Council voted to approve the plan, allowing its implementation. Construction work is to be conducted between 2026 and 2029, and the modernization is to be carried out in such a way as not to interfere with the stadium's operation.

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Renderings