Carolina Panthers: Super Bowl in Charlotte a Real Possibility

By Bryan Palmese
Bank of America Stadium
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Bank of America Stadium, home of the Carolina Panthers, is undergoing a minor facelift to help modernize a couple of major areas. With the NFL handing out golden tickets to cities that are building new stadiums, the question gets asked if Charlotte could host a future Super Bowl.

You might wonder how a stadium that was opened in 1996 would qualify under the new “unwritten” rules of awarding stadiums. It isn’t state of the art on the outside with modern sharp lines and ultra-futuristic amenities like some of the newer stadiums set to open in Minneapolis and Santa Clara, respectively.

What “The Bank” or “The Vault” does possess is a classic stadium that is spectacular to watch a game in, has great sight lines and is undergoing a renovation to its scoreboards and escalators. The latter renovation opens up the concourse for more people to move freely and socialize without slowing down foot traffic.

The $65 million makeover will put two enormous HD-scoreboards at opposite end zones to magnify the game. In today’s game, you’ve got to keep up with the Jones’ and give fans what they ask for.

On the field, the Panthers boast a beautiful playing surface with their hybrid-Bermuda grass. The players have always sung praises about how great the condition of the field is throughout the course of the season. It truly is a modernized classic stadium that is capable of housing the Super Bowl if chosen to do so.

According to the website “Stadium Journey”, Bank of America Stadium ranks fifth in overall fan experience.

Temperatures in February are a hot topic right now, especially with outdoor stadiums looking to host the Super Bowl. It is very capable of getting cold in the Queen City during that time of year, but if it’s cold here, it is a solid ten degrees colder in the north. The Carolinas have often had very mild winters and snow is more of a wish than an actual occurrence.

Owner Jerry Richardson has done a brilliant job of keeping his ties to the community strong, and if he is capable of bringing the “Big Game” to Charlotte, he will. Starting in 2002, he locked in the Belk Bowl (formerly Meineke Bowl) every December, which has become one of the more exciting bowl games in college football. The new deal starting in 2014 is to face the ACC off against the SEC, which will only add to the value of the game being played.

Driving past Bank of America Stadium over the past few weeks has opened lots of eyes. The new scoreboards are beautiful and look aesthetically pleasing against the clean lines of the uptown skyline. The sound system has been upgraded and the LED-ribbons that circle the stands will shine the black and blue colors vividly on game days.

It has been a breath of fresh air for teams outside of domed-stadiums or tropical climates to have a shot at hosting the Super Bowl. These new locales that will continue to sprout up over the next few seasons will allow fans in other markets a chance to host the game on their turf.

Bank of America Stadium is a breathtaking stadium inside and out, and the city would make the NFL proud by hosting the game. Charlotte might not be at the front of the line currently, but their ticket will get punched sooner rather than later.

Bryan Palmese is a Carolina Panthers writer for  Follow him on Twitter @BryanPalmese “Like” him on Facebook

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