Bank of America Stadium is ready for soccer.
Driving the news: Tepper Sports and Entertainment has completed $50 million in stadium renovations, many of which were soccer-specific.
Why it matters: TSE’s new Major League Soccer expansion franchise, Charlotte FC, kicks off its inaugural season this month. They play their first home match on against LA Galaxy on March 5, when over 60,000 fans will experience these stadium changes for the first time.
Here are five renovations that stood out:
1. Soccer-specific locker room
- A 2,600-square-foot Charlotte FC locker room features a player entry corridor with suspended chandeliers; 30 player lockers with integrated back-lit logo, USB charging ports and embroidered locker seats, a glass coaching wall and eight high-definition screens. Adjacent to the locker room is the boot room as well as a restroom/shower area with spa finishes.
- The player lounge includes a residential style kitchen with a large communal island and café seating, a “living room” area and media wall as well as bar-height banquette seating with charging and connectivity built in.
2. Central player tunnel
- MLS mandated a central player tunnel where players will step onto the field.
- Players previously entered from corner tunnels.
3. The Vault
- It’s the latest all-inclusive food and beverage experience, with field-level cushioned seats, a private indoor lounge, a full-service bar, concierge service and a game-day entrance.
- It joins The Gallery, which opened in 2020, as the stadium’s premium hospitality experiences.
- The Vault can accommodate 150 fans for Charlotte FC matches and 100 fans for Carolina Panthers games. Seats are sold-out for Charlotte FC’s season and will go on sale in late spring for the Panthers.
- “Our players will actually process out of the locker room through The Vault by our fans and onto the pitch before the match,” TSE Chief Revenue Officer Jake Burns said. “Fans will be able to cheer them as they walk back into the locker room after a victory.”
- The Gallery offers 12 12-person private suites and two 18-person suite clubs in the west end zone.
4. East Gate
- This area of the stadium sees the most foot traffic, and was widened to accommodate stadium visitors.
- An 11 feet high by 211 feet wide LED screen was also added.
5. Food and beverage changes
- Two bars were added to the main concourse.
- Levy is the stadium’s food and beverage provider.
- Expect five new grab-and-go markets, offering hot entrees and packaged snacks and beverages.
- Concessions will also have two 360-degree LED displays above the new bars.
Other renovations include:
- Additional camera positions for soccer television broadcasts.
Separately: On Monday, Charlotte FC named Atrium Health their healthcare partner. The deal includes stadium renovations, such as:
- Updated nursing rooms for parents to pump milk and feed children.
- An updated Play60 area, called the Atrium Health Fit Zone on the main concourse.
The big picture: Bank of America Stadium opened in 1996. It’s among the oldest stadiums in both the NFL and MLS.
Owner David Tepper is building a $1 billion team headquarters and practice facility in Rock Hill for the Panthers, which will open in 2023. Tepper Sports will also build Charlotte FC’s academy headquarters at the former Eastland Mall site.
- Tepper isn’t opposed to building a new stadium on the 35 acres where the current one sits in Uptown, Axios’ Katie Peralta Soloff reported last June.
- The question remains: How long will Bank of America Stadium remain home for TSE teams?
Populous is the project architect. Rodgers Builders is the general contractor.