Panthers fans look across the street for inspiration

Panthers fans look across the street for inspiration

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by MICHELLE BOUDIN / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @MichelleBoudin

WCNC.com

Posted on January 13, 2014 at 7:37 PM

Updated Monday, Jan 13 at 7:40 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Fans around the city felt the Panthers loss, but some are already looking forward to next season. And, there's something coming even sooner for sports fans: baseball in the Queen City.

The city seemed to take a collective sigh.

“The first half was really good, and then, I don’t know what happened in the second half,” said Donnie Snyder, who was at the Panthers playoffs game.

After weeks of riding high—to the culmination that was black Friday with banners, buses and school kids shouting their Panther pride to the morning after, it just feels like a total bummer.

“Yeah, last night was a long night,” Snyder said.

But Charlotte sports fans, take heed.

Just a stone’s throw from Bank of America stadium some of the final bricks are being laid at the Charlotte Knights stadium.

Five-hundred legacy bricks were sold to the public and were laid Monday.

Many have special stories.

Tim Powitz bought one.

“When I had an opportunity to get a brick engraved I knew I was in the market to get a ring to propose to her. Match made in heaven."

Tim and his college girlfriend used to collect bricks when buildings would be torn down near where they lived.

"The first brick we took, she painted it; wrote a little ‘I heart you on it,’" he remembers.       

A former Charlotte Knights intern and big time sports fan, Tim bought a replica brick of the one he bought for the stadium and at a family beach trip this summer, he got to work.

"I had her dad plant it in the sand and we went for a walk on the beach, and we went for a walk on the beach and stumbled upon it, and I had the ring in hand."

The couple was married two weeks ago and plans to visit their brick on a regular basis.

And Tim says the fact that opening day is just around the corner makes the loss across the street a little less painful.

"We were all rooting for the Panthers, and it is a little disappointing but it was an exciting season. But you look next door and see all this going up, and it’s been such a long thing that people have been waiting for-- and the bricks, people like me and other citizens get to have a little piece in it."

Opening day is April 11. The team store opens March 1 if you can't wait to get your gear.

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