Formerly known as the Carolinas Stadium and later as Ericsson Stadium, Bank of America Stadium is a football stadium located in Charlotte, North Carolina. This is the home facility of the Carolina Panthers, an NFL football team. Bank of America Stadium is also the home of the annual Meineke Car Care Bowl, which is a college football bowl game, played between teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference and the Big East. In addition, this stadium hosts games played by the East Carolina University football team.
Bank of America Stadium is owned by the Carolinas Stadium Corp. Construction began in 1993, and the doors were open by 1996. The name Bank of America Stadium was adopted in 2004, when the Bank of America purchased rights to name the stadium for the following twenty years. With the Bank of America naming change, fans have started calling the stadium "The Vault.''
Designed by HOK Sport, Bank of America Stadium cost approximately $248 million to build. It has a seating capacity of over 73,700, and the field is grass, not artificial turf. When this stadium was being built, some of the funds came from Personal Seat Licenses (PSLs), which are sold by the stadium to give fans the right to purchase tickets to that seat every year. These licenses can be resold to other fans or given back to the stadium. After this stadium's successful PSL program, a number of other stadiums began similar programs. Many other newer stadiums have copied some of the Bank of America stadium's design aspects, and many credit this stadium with starting a wave of stadium constructions in the NFL.
When the Bank of America stadium is not being used for football and football practices, it is also used for other sporting events and concerts. This is not common, though, as the Panthers needs and other football games fill the schedule.
Fans have a number of seating options when attending games at the Bank of America stadium. Most of the seating is called "bowl level,'' and this seating is split into the upper bowl and the lower bowl. Both the upper and lower bowls have seating for fans with disabilities. There are also over 11,000 club seats, which are more comfortable and have better views. The most desirable views are from the suites. There are over 150 suites on two different levels, with a total capacity of 2,717. Each suite has chairs to sit and view the game, a lounge area with a buffet area, and a private restroom. They also have televisions in the lounge area so fans never miss a moment of the game.
The Bank of America Stadium has hundreds of concession stands on all levels, so fans never have to walk far to find food. They also have nearly 100 restrooms, including 23 that are unisex/family facilities for parents with children. PantherVision controls all of the displays on the message boards, and new for the 2008 season was the DiamondVision LED displays located at end of the stadiums. Other than this upgrade, the stadium hasn't changed much since it was first built.