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Bank of America Stadium
"The Vault" (Based on the underground vault and tunnel leading to the Bank of America Headquarters a few blocks away.)
Bank of America Stadium.jpg
Former names Carolinas Stadium (1994-1996)
Ericsson Stadium (1996–2004)
Location 800 South Mint Street, Charlotte, North Carolina 28202
Coordinates 35°13′33″N 80°51′10″W / 35.22583°N 80.85278°W / 35.22583; -80.85278Coordinates: 35°13′33″N 80°51′10″W / 35.22583°N 80.85278°W / 35.22583; -80.85278
Broke ground 1993
Opened 1996
Owner Carolinas Stadium Corp
Operator Carolinas Stadium Corp
Surface Grass
Construction cost US$248 million
Architect Populous
Structural engineer Bliss and Nyitray, Inc.
Capacity 73,778
Field dimensions 132 yds long x 93 yards wide (121 x 80 m)
Tenants
Carolina Panthers (NFL) (1996–present)
Meineke Car Care Bowl (NCAA) (2002-present)
ACC Championship Game (2010–2011)
Satellite picture

Bank of America Stadium (formerly known as Carolinas Stadium and Ericsson Stadium) is a 73,504-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.[1] It also hosts the annual Meineke Car Care Bowl which features teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference and the Big East.[2] It will host the 2010 and 2011 ACC Championship Games.[3] The stadium has also been the site for several games featuring the East Carolina University Pirates.[4][5]

Contents

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 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.

Naming

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.[6] In 2004, the stadium received its current name after Bank of America purchased the naming rights for 20 years[7]. Since Bank of America has acquired naming rights, many fans now refer to the stadium as "The Vault", "The Bank", "The BOA", or "BOFA".

Carolina Panthers

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Inaugural season

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.

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 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.

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 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 no longer used). The last two to open before the stadium broke ground were the Georgia Dome in 1992 and LandShark Stadium 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. On March 24, 2010 the stadium will host an international friendly match between Mexico and Iceland, this will be the first match between two men's national soccer teams to be held at the stadium.[8]

References

  1. ^ "Stadium (panthers.com)". Carolina Panthers. http://www.panthers.com/stadium/. Retrieved 2007-12-25. 
  2. ^ "Conferences". Raycom. http://www.meinekecarcarebowl.com/conferences.htm. Retrieved 2007-12-25. 
  3. ^ "ACC Football Title Games to Tampa, Charlotte". WRAL.com. December 12, 2007. http://www.wral.com/sports/story/2161744/. Retrieved 2007-12-12. 
  4. ^ "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. 
  5. ^ 2006 East Carolina Football Media Guide. East Carolina Athletic Department. 2006. pp. 178–179. 
  6. ^ Hardin, Ed (1996-06-27), "Panthers' New Home Gets Name That Doesn't Quite Ring", Greensboro News Record: C1 
  7. ^ Home of Carolina Panthers to be Called Bank of America Stadium
  8. ^ "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. 

External links

Preceded by
Clemson Memorial Stadium
Home of the
Carolina Panthers

1996–present
Succeeded by
current

Simple English

The Bank of America Stadium is a sports stadium located in Charlotte, North Carolina. It was built in 1996 for the Carolina Panthers. It used to be called Ericsson Stadium until it was renamed in 2004. The stadium seats 73,248 people.


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