CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- We know the Panthers are Carolinas' team, but the franchise is a major part of the fabric of the Queen City and uptown skyline. One fan is starting a petition to keep it that way.
“I was just broken-hearted,” Panthers fan Inezmarie Graci said. “I just couldn’t imagine not being able to go to a Panthers game in uptown.”
Bank of America Stadium and the suggested site for a new stadium are separated by a relatively short distance, but for Graci the difference is more than just a few miles.
“This doesn’t make sense, and the reasoning behind it seems all business-wise. It’s not for the city. It’s not for the fans, and I thought I needed to do something," said Graci.
So Graci started a petition. Still in its infant stages, she has a big target in mind.
“When I put it up there, I just had a mental goal of ten thousand,” Graci said.
A resident of the Queen City for a decade now, she thinks the energy in uptown on the weekends is directly tied to the presence of the Panthers.
“It used to just be, even since I’ve been here ten years, Monday through Friday and then it was dead on the weekends. We’re doing such a great job continuing to build our city. This will take us back a number of steps.”
And, if nothing else, there’s nothing quite like that game day skyline.
“The view from inside our stadium looking out to the city, we should be proud of that.”