Located on 33 acres in uptown Charlotte, North Carolina area, Bank of America Stadium is a 74,867-seat football stadium. It houses the National Football League’s Carolina Panthers and Major League Soccer’s Charlotte FC. When it first opened in 1996, Swedish telecom corporation LM Ericsson held the name rights to the stadium. Charlotte-based financial services provider Bank of America paid $140 million for a 20-25 year name rights agreement in 2004. Ex-Panthers president Danny Morrison referred to it as a “classic American stadium” because of its bowl layout and other characteristics.
In addition to home games for the Panthers and CLTFC, the stadium also plays host to the annual Duke’s Mayo Bowl, a game between ACC and either SEC or Big Ten Conference schools. The ACC Championship Game, which had been moved in 2016 but reinstated the following year, was scheduled to be played at the stadium until at least 2019. In May of 2022, the ACC announced that the championship game would remain at Bank of America Stadium through at least the 2030 season. On September 9, 2018, 74,532 people watched the Panthers beat the Dallas Cowboys 16-8 in front of the stadium’s record crowd.
The outside of Bank of America Stadium is distinguished by numerous elements. The stadium’s design features the team’s colors—black, process blue, and silver—in elements like the three enormous main gates. The upper deck’s arches, which link the column supports, are shaped like half a football, and the building is surrounded by acres of trees and greenery. Some have drawn parallels between the stadium’s design and the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and Soldier Field. Some have said it seems more like “a fortress” than a stadium from the outside.
Two larger-than-life bronze panther statues stand guard at each entrance, making this stadium the only one in the NFL with such a feature. Six “Indomitable Spirit” statues were placed here in 1996. They are the largest sculptures ever commissioned in the United States, and each one depicts a crouched, snarling panther with green eyes. Each statue’s base is etched with the names of the original PSL owners of the team.
The six illuminated domes inside the stadium are also a notable feature. These can be found perched over the primary gates in pairs, each one being over a hundred feet in the air. At first, they only emitted the Panthers’ signature ‘process blue’ light at night. The domes’ once-impressive luminosity gradually faded as the years passed, and they began to reveal their age. The domes were reconstructed with LED lighting during the 2014 refurbishment. They are now again visible every night as their new technology allows them to project process blue in ways that were previously impossible.
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