Stadium #5
Bank of America Stadium
Charlotte, NC
Detroit Lions vs. Carolina Panthers
Carolina Panthers Stadium
November 16, 2008
31  -  22 Win

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See my other visits to
Bank of America Stadium at:

BUFvs.CAR-Oct.11,2009

StadiumTour-July1,2009
 CARvs.DAL-Oct.29,2006
 

  Stadium Vitals         
Built: 1996
Capacity: 73,367 seats
Playing Surface: Natural Grass
Draft Beer: $7.00
Hot Dog: $3.75
Stadium Parking: $30.00
Bank of America
Stadium Address

800 South Mint Street
Charlotte, NC 28202
(704) 358-7800
Get Directions

 

 
   
Stadium Re
view - PantherFanz.netStanding in front of Bank of America Stadium
This weekend, The Buffalo News (my hometown newspaper) ran an article on local fan behavior which explored the "worst behaved" moniker given to Buffalo Bills fans by the Wall Street Journal (I was actually quoted in the piece). Therefore, I found it somewhat ironic that I would be in Charlotte, NC where the fans here were named among the top five "most hospitable" cities in a recent poll by SI.com. Call it southern hospitality or Carolina pride, but I have to concur with the findings of SI.com after spending the day with Dan Ortel and the fine folks at Pantherfanz.net. These guys were more than accommodating to a kid from western New York who just happened to be undercover for the day as a Carolina Panthers fan. As soon as we arrived, there was a genuine sense of family and NFL camaraderie as we were given the Tailgaters tour. Offers for breakfast barbecue and NFL fan chatter poured in as we made the rounds through PantherFanz Central. I got lots of the "Oh, you're that guy," commentary as my Quest for 31 Beer Stein helped spark conversations.

Dallas Cowboys in townFor this trip to Charlotte, my longtime best friend Jermain Baker, who I've known since high school, was there to accompany me. The last time I was in town, it was Halloween and the Dallas Cowboys were in Charlotte to take on the Carolina Panthers. Jermain is a huge Dallas Cowboys fan (I however am not - stupid Super Bowls), so with tickets to the game, and All Hallows Eve as my inspiration, I decided to go to the game dressed as a Dallas Cowboys fan. This being my second trip to Bank of America Stadium, it was essential that I experience the Carolina brand of hometown tailgating that's offered by a city which prides itself on its barbecue and offers northerners a respite for the bitter cold of their native land. The city of Charlotte did not disappoint on either count as the weather was fantastic for football and the barbecue was top notch.

Our hosts from Pantherfanz.net had an impressive setup to say the least. What began with a couple guys burning hot dogs on a single hibachi grill, over the years, has morphed into a full-on tailgating extravaganza. The PantherFanz Party Prowler is easily the centerpiece of the hub of activity that is gameday in the PantherFanz Tailgating lot. Built from a converted school bus, James and boyz have built an exceptional command andPanther fans party prowler tailgating bus control tailgating vehicle that serves as PantherFanz headquarters and a unique base of operations. Covered in black, white and teal, the custom paint job features a four-foot Carolina Panthers logo, with its name emblazoned on the side in the typical Panther font underneath it. The interior has been completely redone to include seating for twelve, lots of table space, and a onboard half-bath for the ladies. Custom storage lockers, cubbies, and a full fridge make practical use of the interior space to allow for storage of the day's meal and any accessories that will be required for its preparation. And of course there's beer, lots of beer (a whole damned fridge full of it). The most unique feature of the PantherFanz Party Prowler however is rear porch. The back of the bus was chopped and opened to create an incredible rear porch with seating for ten. It serves as an exceptional perch from which to survey the tailgating activities below or enjoy one of the Carolina microbrews bottled locally. When I'm in town, I prefer the Carolina Blonde that's available in most grocery stores and is actually brewed just up the street. Great taste and less filling. The seats on the rear porch were pulled directly from the old Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia and painted Carolina blue. Importing the genuine article from a tailgating Mecca like Philly is definitely a nice touch.

The folks from PantherFanz.netAs for food, Dan and the boyz were on top of it. Their wives had whipped up some amazing potato salad and sides, and the fellas had multiple grilling surfaces going throughout the day. Clay had a slow roasting, ten foot, dual rotisserie roaster going. Full chickens (like fifteen of 'em) were mounted on one spit and prime rib was spinning slowly on the other. After four hours slow roasting next to a controlled charcoal heat, the meats were ready, but there was more. A custom built smoker, that was trailered in, was manned by Dan. Dan was firing up brats and hot dogs, with the occasional sausage-dawg or two; and stationed at a propane boiler was my man Joe, the Cedar Street Seer himself, cooking up fresh oysters and monitoring some marinated shrimp skewers. Jermain and I ate like kings as we sampled everything, hopping from grill to grill and washing it all down with our ice-cold beverages of choice. For the variety of food offered at a single tailgate, the folks at PanthersFanz.net had sponsored one of the best tailgates I've attended.

Great T-shirts FellasGametime crept up on us unexpectedly, as it usually does after spending the morning eating, drinking, and talking NFL football. I can't say enough about the folks from PantherFanz.com. They were warm and more than accommodating, offering to have me back anytime I make it into town. With grilled food at the ready, a DJ spinning tunes throughout the morning, and the entertainment factor of some highly knowledgeable NFL fans to keep us actively engaged in conversation, it was easy to see why they have such a dedicated following. I will certainly make a return trip to this favorite tour stop on the Quest for 31 to the Carolina Panthers Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina.

As for game itself, we had amazing seats. Perched in the endzone, section 230 next to L.R. and Stevie we watched the Lions roar to a 10 - 0 lead as the Panthers struggled in the first quarter to get going.University of Michigan and the Steve Smith Jersey But once they weathered the initial charge of those win-starved Lions, the Carolina Panthers ground game took over. DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart each rushed for over 100 yards on route to a 31 - 22 victory, pounding the Detroit run defense for most of the afternoon. At times the Daunte Culpepper-led Lions looked impressive, but unfortunately those times were few and far between. The Carolina Panthers soon proved that they were clearly the better team as the Detroit Lions continued to help my Quest for 31 home team win percentage ... which is really fantastic. I mean who wants to welcome you to their stadium when every home team you watch loses? I gotta schedule more Lions games. Thank you Detroit, hopefully we'll meet again on the Quest.
   


For more information on the city of Charlotte, North Carolina check out my other reviews by clicking on the links below:
     NFL: December 12, 2010 - Atlanta Falcons vs. Carolina Panthers
     NFL:
October 25, 2009 - Buffalo Bills vs. Carolina Panthers 
     NFL: October 29, 2006 -
Dallas Cowboys vs. Carolina Panthers
     NFL: Carolina Panthers, Bank of America Stadium - 2010 Stadium Tour

     NFL: Carolina Panthers, Bank of America Stadium - 2009 Stadium Tour
     NBA: Charlotte Bobcats, Time Warner Cable Arena - Arena Tour
     NBA: Charlotte Bobcats, Time Warner Cable Arena - General Information

     NHL: Carolina Hurricanes, RBC Center - General Information
 
 
City of Charlotte Local Information  
Top Tourist Attractions:
NASCAR Hall of Fame
Richard Petty Driving Experience
Mint Museum

Local Foods:
Carolina BBQ, Fried Chicken, Brunswick Stew

What They're Drinkin':
Carolina Blonde, Highland Brewing Company, Red Oak

Tailgating Hotspots:
Pecan Parking Lot B-3

Local Sports Media:
The Charlotte Observer
WBT 1110AM

Getting to the Stadium:
Bank of America Stadium is located in uptown Charlotte.  There's no city metro rail in Charlotte, so if you're a visitor your best bet is to drive to the stadium and park in one of the many lots scattered throughout the city on gameday. 
Popular Bar Districts:
Uptown Charlotte (Buckhead Saloon, Bar Charlotte, Coyote Joe's, Tempo,
     The Attic Bar, Breakfast Club)
The Epicentre (Suite, Kazba, Whisky River, Howl at the Moon)

Best Restaurants:
Uptown Charlotte (Mert's Heart and Soul, Lavecchia's Seafood Grille,
     Alexander Michael's, Chima Brazilian Steakhouse, French Quarter,
     Capital Grille)
The Epicentre (Blackfinn American Saloon, Flemings’s Prime Steakhouse
     & Wine Bar, Enso Asian Bistro and Sushi Bar)
Brixx Wood-Fired Pizza

Fan Resources:
Pocket Map of Charlotte
Stadium Policy
Stadium Parking Map
Fan Forum: CarolinaHuddle.com

Where to Stay:
Find a hotel in the downtown area as Bank of America Stadium is right downtown.  I would suggest the Ritz-Carlton, Courtyard Charlotte, or the Residence Inn by Marriott.

 
Planning Your Next Trip to see the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium?
Traveling to all thirty-one stadiums around the National Football League, teaches you a thing or two about getting the most for your money.  I've set up this website to help others that are interested in NFL Travel.  Below you'll find links for cheap Carolina Panthers tickets, stadium seating charts, local weather, hotel, and flight information, everything you need to plan a successful trip to Bank of America Stadium.


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Click for Forecast for 28202 from weatherUSA.net
     
Approaching Bank of America Stadium  

Me and Jermain pregame

  Havin' a cold one by the Tailgating Bus
Approaching the Stadium  

Ready for Battle

  The PantherFanz Party Prowler
         
Dano From PantherFanz.net   A salute to our veterans   Another Quest for 31 Road trip
Myself and Dan   A Salute to our Veterans   Myself, L.R., and Stevie
         
the Carolina Panthers House   a pic with some detroit Lions fans   great day for some NFL Football
Lions ahead, but we still believe   Some Good Natured Detroiters   Halftime at the Panthers Den
         
Believe in Now - Carolina Panthers     Celebrating a Victory
I think I believe   Hangin' with my boy Jermain   That's the Ballgame...
         
  The Granite Panther Statues   Tribute to Sam Mills
Down by the Field   Decapitation Looms   A Tribute to Linebacker Sam Mills
         
Carolina Cop Car   Panthers at the Gate   A Truly imposing figure
The Fellas from PantherFanz.net   A Shot with the Panther   The Spirit of the Panther
         
           
     
COMMENT FORM:
Please feel free to post any suggestions or comments you might have
for my journey to Bank of America Stadium, including the following:
 
             
 - Local Hotspots (Bar Districts, Restaurants, Clubs)
               - Local Foods (Traditional Cuisine, Micro Brews)
               - Tailgating Traditions
               - Your Experiences or Helpful Hints

               - If you saw me let me know!
 
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    From: Brian Mazurowski from Goldsboro, NC
Sent: Tuesday, November 03, 2009 6:41 AM
  Great pictures and review didn't see the picture I was looking for (wearing the AFL Maybin throwback). I have to say agree though, I was also somewhat disappointed in the conduct of some Bills fans. It seems when the Sabres or Bills come into town the absolute WORST Buffalo fans crawl out of the gutter to make us all look bad. I cheered on the Bills pretty feverishly and was not really messed with aside from the small child beside me calling TO, Terrell "Broken" the whole game. It was a little disheartening to see how many Panthers fans began leaving at half time but what can you do? Anyways, great review and love the site man!

Hey Brian.  I'll send over that photo!
 
   
    From: Kenny Sansone
Sent: Wed, October 28, 2009 6:08 am
  Hans,
Like always, loved the site. Great review and great pics. And I checked out fowling.org also. Looking forward to giving it a shot on Sunday!  See you this weekend!

Kenny
 

   
    From: Brian Mazurowski
Sent: Tuesday, October 27, 2009 10:23 AM
 
  Met you at a Panthers tailgate spot this weekend at the bills and panthers game. Was wondering if you're going to post the pictures? Anyways, good luck and awesome time meeting you!

They're up brother, let me know what you think!
 
   
    From: Dan Ortel
Sent: Tuesday, November 18, 2008 12:40 AM
 
Hey Hans!
 
Great meeting you and glad everything worked out!  If you go up to http://www.pantherfanz.net and click on the link pictures from the lot you will see a bunch of pictures from the tailgate for that day.  I believe there are 85 pictures posted there right now.  Also, if you have any good shots you took I would appreciate it!  The bus is called the 'Pantherfanz Party Prowler'
 
regards Dano
 
   

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