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Bank of America Stadium (formerly known as Carolinas Stadium and Ericsson Stadium) is a 73,504-seat football stadium located on 33 acres (130,000 m²) of land in uptown Charlotte, North Carolinamarker, USAmarker. 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 Universitymarker Pirates.

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 Lowes Motor Speedwaymarker and the University of North Carolina at Charlottemarker in northeast Mecklenburg Countymarker. Another was at the intersection of I-85 and US-74 in western Gaston Countymarker. A popular option was to locate the facility near Carowindsmarker amusement park, with the 50 yard line being on the state border of North Carolinamarker and South Carolinamarker.

Naming

The stadium, originally known as Carolinas Stadium (this name is used when the stadium hosts FIFAmarker 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 Vault", "The Bank", or "The BOA".

Carolina Panthers

Inaugural season

The Panthers played their Inaugural Season at Clemson Universitymarker's Memorial Stadiummarker while the stadium was being completed. The Carolina Panthers played their first game at the stadium on September 14, 1996.

Playoff games

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 Houstonmarker 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.

Impact on NFL venues

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 among the oldest third of 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 five older NFL stadiums which have not received major renovations (the Edward Jones Domemarker, Louisiana Superdomemarker, and Arrowhead Stadiummarker are now undergoing renovations, and Texas Stadiummarker is no longer used). The last two to open before the stadium broke ground were the Georgia Domemarker in 1992 and LandShark Stadiummarker in 1987.

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.

Non-football uses

Though Bank of America Stadium is mostly used as a football facility, it hosted the Rolling Stones on October 10, 1997, and has been a site of the NCAA Men's Soccer Championship in 1999 and 2000. A Billy Graham crusade was held there in 1996.

Quick Facts

- 882 flat screen televisions within the stadium

- Soil from every county in North and South Carolina was included during construction of the stadium

- Field consists of Bermuda grass hybrid and is rated the #2 ranked turf by players in the NFL

- 800 miles of cable runs through the stadium

- The Panthers locker room is 5 times the size of the visitors locker room

- For a typical 1pm kickoff, the sun shines towards the visitors sideline

References

  1. Home of Carolina Panthers to be Called Bank of America Stadium


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