CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- "We want to keep this stadium upgraded. We want to keep it fresh," said Panthers Director of Stadium Operations Scott Paul on Friday.
After five weeks of construction on upgrades and renovations, NBC Charlotte got a first look at the progress so far. The demolition of the old scoreboards is now complete to make way for new HD ones, two-and-half times bigger than the old ones, hoping to keep fans visually engaged. It’s just one of many changes Bank of America Stadium.
"We're in a competitive world in the NFL, and we're also competing with the great home experience," said Paul.
The old ribbon boards are torn down. Now crews are putting up brackets for two new ribbon boards that will circle the stadium, featuring things like NFL scores and stats. Perhaps one of the most impactful additions will be escalators, four new bays at three entry gates to take fans to the 300 and 500 levels. The foundation has begun and the escalators are in transit now.
"So there's been an aging process among our PSL owners and people who attend our games, so it was time to make that step," said Panthers Director of Communications Charlie Dayton.
In addition to the newly enhanced Wi-Fi, architect David Wagner says keeping up with technology was their biggest motivation.
"You will see the IT and technology we put in Bank of America Stadium is redundant across the NFL and other venues. We're all trying to make sure we're right there with technology," said David Wagner of Wagner and Murray Architects.
Some changes fans will see, some they will hear, like an entire new sound system already in place. Others they will notice using their smart phones.
"We really wanted to make sure that these projects impacted 75,000 fans, so that was the determining factor," said Paul.