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November 02, 2011

Panthers eyeing stadium renovation

The Panthers have chosen the architectural firm that designed Bank of America Stadium to lead a year-long study in developing a master plan for renovating the 16-year-old facility, team president Danny Morrison said today.

Populous, which was known as HOK Sport when the 74,000-seat stadium opened in 1996, will work with a pair of firms from the Carolinas on the study. David Wagner of Wagner Murray in Charlotte designed the premium sections at the stadium, while Ron Smith of Spartanburg-based McMillan, Pazdan and Smith oversaw the recent weight room renovation.

The Panthers chose HOK over three other architects because of its familiarity with the stadium. Morrison said all four firms said the stadium is in great shape.

The bones are fantastic. It's been superbly maintained over the years. It still looks fresh and updated because a lot of money's been put into the stadium over the years,” Morrison said. “They love the concept of the 'stadium in the park' with all the landscaping around the stadium and the location of the stadium.”

Morrison said team officials are not interested in increasing the capacity of the stadium, but provided few details of what the might renovation might entail. Morrison has talked in the past about bringing the home-viewing experience to fans attending the game in person.

Technology is so fast-moving that you don't know what technology will be in the next five years,” Morrison said.

Morrison gave no timetable or cost estimate for the project.

--Joseph Person


Posted by Observer Sports on November 2, 2011 at 12:26 PM | Permalink


Want to improve the fan experience? How about figuring out how to serve a hot dog in less than 45 minutes at half time or figuring out how to get people into the stadium in less than 30 minutes. Or by setting up concession stands that offer more than just a hot dog or pretzel instead of having to go to two different places.

Or how about finding a way to have people in the seats they bought? Everytime we get up to buy something or go to the rest room there is always someone trying to steal our seats.

Or have ushers keep people from blocking the stairs while they stand and watch the game instead of getting to their seats

The list could go on

Posted by: PSL | Nov 2, 2011 1:06:59 PM

I think building an overhang on top of the seats in th eupper deck would do a number of things. It would ad a bit of weather protection, as those seaats are very exposed to the elements. It would give a sense of enclosure making the stadium feel more intimate. Finally, it would increase the noise level giving us a louder home field advantage and a more fun experience.

Posted by: Mike | Nov 2, 2011 1:22:45 PM

I agree with PSL, it's great the Panthers getting the religious and civic groups involved in concessions but it's rather annoying when it takes Barbara 15 minutes to figure out how to ring up my draft beer.

Posted by: Mick | Nov 2, 2011 1:23:08 PM

I should add...look at various baseball stadium upper deck overhangs for inspiration.

Posted by: Mike | Nov 2, 2011 1:24:14 PM

how about a smoking area??
make it so we bother nobody and far away from the folks that don't like it

Posted by: bull123 | Nov 2, 2011 1:25:22 PM

Agree on the overhang mentioned by Mike. The September games at the stadium can be brutal for those of us in the upper deck. Definitely need much BIGGER replay screens behind the end zone. It's nice to have the high-def, but need to go bigger. I also wouldn't mind seeing a cutout in the stadium so you can see more of the Charlotte skyline in the background. 74,000 seats is a lot for our stadium. May not hurt to have seating capacity reduced a little, which would be achieved by some of the mentioned changes. Plenty of bigger market teams have stadiums that seat 5-6,000 less.

Posted by: PantherDave | Nov 2, 2011 1:33:16 PM

How about a section devoted to fans that like to cheer and stand up. I can't tell you how many times I have been yelled at to sit down, because the person behind me doesnt want to stand. Sorry sir, it's 3rd and inches, i'm going to stand and cheer!

Posted by: football24 | Nov 2, 2011 1:34:49 PM


I'm with you. Maybe a hydraulic lift in each chair to reposition the wine and cheese fans so they can see but don't have to stand.

I was watching the KC/SD Monday night game and the whole stadium was standing up cheering. Standing up at a Panther game results in getting chastised by the snobby lady behind you.

Posted by: Sambo | Nov 2, 2011 1:44:42 PM

football24 I got kicked for that 2 weeks ago crazy we will never have home advantage with crazy rules

Posted by: Johny | Nov 2, 2011 1:47:15 PM

Win - that should about do it.

Posted by: Cosmo | Nov 2, 2011 1:47:43 PM

I hope they'll install larger replay screens in the endzones. Most colleges have larger ones now.

I heard a lot of people wondering why there aren't TV screens and speakers showing the play-by-play in the concourse areas and bathrooms.

Posted by: Authority | Nov 2, 2011 1:47:55 PM

Smaller capacity and faster concessions would be a good place to start. Monitors at the seats would also be a nice touch for the future.

Posted by: James Reed | Nov 2, 2011 1:59:53 PM

More wins would improve my fan experience!

Posted by: YveOlution | Nov 2, 2011 2:10:19 PM

The funny thing is that none of the extras matter. Who gives a crap about TV and sound. Put a team on the field that wins week in and week out and the seats will be full. If you want an at home experience heres an idea STAY AT HOME. I can see much more of the game on my flat screen, but we go to the stadium for the NFL football experience.

Posted by: Football Fan in NC | Nov 2, 2011 2:19:38 PM

Two local firms are assisting a national architectural firm with a study - why not keep the money in the Carolina's???? Wagner did original interiors, club levels, Suite 87 and Grid Iron - so why go outside the Carolinas?

Posted by: Panther Cutie | Nov 2, 2011 3:06:34 PM

How about our money's worth? Or consistency?

Posted by: YveOlution | Nov 2, 2011 3:08:13 PM

I agree with panther dave.im just a kid but i like to get into the game. some people yell because they cant see and doesn't want to stand up. Also i look stupid when no one is around me and i stand up and cheer.

Posted by: justin | Nov 2, 2011 3:18:41 PM

our FATCAT owner.... where "do" you spend your money, it ain't on me the fan - 20+ MIN TO GET A DOG AND BREW. the game and fan experience is passing us by. Populous, what the hell is that? I'll bet the Cowdungs stadium's wait for a dog and beer isn't 20 min....... I've been in my house 15 years, added a pool, new landscape, new kitchen - Your stadium FATCAT?

Posted by: ArdentFAN | Nov 2, 2011 3:35:45 PM

I have complained to the Panthers for years about the slow service provided by these civic/church groups in the concessions, to no avail. Granny seems completely overwhelmed when getting an order, and there is no system in place for getting orders out. I eat before I come now, and only visit the kiosks for beer. They need to set minimum standards for these people if they want the privilege of earning money at the stadium.

Posted by: Dan | Nov 2, 2011 3:53:44 PM

"it's rather annoying when it takes Barbara 15 minutes to figure out how to ring up my draft beer".....EPIC!

Posted by: Randy Allday | Nov 2, 2011 4:39:46 PM

This place is a dump. My wife got attacked by a bat last season that was flying around the humming lights in the upper deck that sound like they are about to burn out. The bats ears were about to explode I'm sure and it flew straight into her hair like a nest.

There are too many recommendations to list, but for the people that are suggesting improvements to anything involving the 500 level don't waste your time. This team has constantly proven that it doesn't care about anything going on or anyone above CLUB level.

Posted by: Ron | Nov 2, 2011 4:46:04 PM

They should keep their money local. Its unfortunate they choose to do business with so many national and international vendors. Shows how much they truely care about the Charlotte economy.

As far as the stadium goes they def don't need to add seats, they can't fill what we have.

Posted by: Jason | Nov 2, 2011 6:21:11 PM

Ron - If you think that BofA Stadium is a dump, you CLEARLY have not been to a lot of stadiums in the NFL. Three great examples: Candlestick Park, Oakland Coliseum (or whatever it's called now) and Metrodome are atrocious venues. They make the Panthers stadium look like a palace.

Posted by: PantherDave | Nov 2, 2011 6:29:15 PM

I really don't care about upgrading the stadium what I'd truly like to see is the replays more than just one time. But instead the Panthers would rather try to sell me a diamond from some overpriced jewelry store in Charlotte. And how many time do I need Brad Hoover and Chief Monroe tell me how to act in the stands. Put a big screen in on each side of the stadium and just show the game and replays without the advertisements.

Posted by: Rock Dawg | Nov 2, 2011 6:50:12 PM

The concession lines could be reduced by simply training the groups that come in better. The old Charlotte Coliseum used to require all of its volunteer groups to come in early to learn the ropes in an effort to keep fans happy. NO MONEY SPENT THERE....Problem Solved.

The upper level overhang at the top is a great idea. It would increase some crowd noise and help out those of us who frequently end up kissing the skies.

The video boards are due for an upgrade in size. And the "sit down" fans are due for a reality check about what it means to be a FOOTBALL FAN.

The biggest improvement I would like to see is the reduction in the number of people who show up simply to complain about the stadium, team, owner, food, seats, team name, economy, weather...etc. It's football people. Come to the game and ENJOY life.

Posted by: AppGrad04 | Nov 2, 2011 7:31:24 PM

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