Charlotte: Countdown starts to the first MLS match

source:; author: Tomasz Sobura

Charlotte: Countdown starts to the first MLS match Charlotte FC is just a few months away from its league debut. Tickets for the first game are selling like hot cakes. The North Carolina franchise will be the 28th participant of the Major League Soccer.


To understand just how big soccer has become in Charlotte, suffice it to say that in the first week of December, 40,000 tickets have already been sold for the club's first historic home match to be played on March 5 against the Los Angeles Galaxy. The board of the new franchise team assumes that the club will manage to sell at least 20,000 season tickets for the 2022 campaign. However, the game against Galaxy will not be a debut in the league, as this will take place on February 26 during the away fixture against D.C. United.

The team is owned by David Tepper who has completed most of the squad for the 2022 season. At the moment it is difficult to predict what goals will be set for the players, because the assessment of Charlotte FC's potential is actually one big unknown. It seems like going to the playoffs in the first season will be quite an achievement. You can bet on MLS matches and other soccer leagues after visiting online sports betting PA.

Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte© James Willamor (cc: by-sa)

In Charlotte, preparations for the inaugural game are on the home straight. Initially, the debut was supposed to take place in 2021, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, the plans were postponed for a year. Bringing the soccer team to the city cost Tepper $325 million, which is a league record.

Charlotte FC will play its home games at Bank of America Stadium. The soccer players are to share this venue with the Carolina Panthers, a NFL team also owned by David Tepper. This is not a perfect solution as the MLS authorities want clubs to play at soccer-specific stadiums. However, in the league we can find at least a few examples where teams share a stadium with clubs from the NFL. Suffice it to mention Nashville, Chicago Fire, Seattle Sounders, New England Revolution and NYCFC.

The stadium located in the downtown is a real giant with a capacity of almost 75,000. It opened in 1996 and cost $248 million to build. Such a large auditorium gives a chance to break the single-game MLS attendance record that belongs to the venue in Atlanta.

Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte© Ken Fager (cc: by-nc-sa)

Realistically speaking, the attendance should be no less than 35,000 per game. At least such forecasts for the next season are presented by Nick Kelly, president of Charlotte FC. To achieve this result, the bottom bowl of the stadium needs to be filled.

Recently, $50 million has been spent to adapt the facility to the requirements of soccer. A tunnel, typical for English stadiums, leading to the playing field was built. It is located at the bottom of the North Stand. In addition, medical facilities and new changing rooms have been created that will be exclusively for soccer players. The NFL players have their own dressing rooms located in a different part of the building.

From the fans' point of view, the most important part of the investment was the reconstruction of the eastern stand where the most ardent supporters of the club will find their space. Populous was responsible for the redevelopment design and Rodgers Builders was the general contractor.