Bank of America Stadium
vs. Carolina Panthers
Carolina Panthers Stadium
December 12, 2010
31 - 10 Loss
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Capacity: 73,367 seats
Playing Surface: Natural Grass
Draft Beer: $7.00
Hot Dog: $4.00
Stadium Parking: $30.00
Bank of America
800 South Mint Street
Charlotte, NC 28202
- Southern Living
Spending the holiday season down in Charlotte, North Carolina or anywhere down south for that matter is refreshingly odd. There’s no snow on the ground, the temperatures are moderate (for us northerners anyway), and those Carolina blue skies seem to indicate that spring is near. The funny thing is that you still have all of the signs of the holiday season, even though the weather outside just happens to be delightful. Christmas lights adorn quaint downtown areas, shoppers scurry about looking for seasonal bargains, and indications that Santa is near are everywhere, even at Bank of America Stadium where the aggressive looking Panther Guardians watching over each stadium gate happen to be sporting holly wreaths around their necks during this season of giving.
I always enjoy my trips to the southern states, especially down to Charlotte, North Carolina. Southern tailgaters are great hosts. They’re an amicable people that enjoy guests (even moochers like me) and the spreads that they put out on any given Sunday are like catered events. The famed Carolina Barbecue is alive and well in the parking lots that surround Bank of America Stadium and believe me friends, its good eatin’. Walking the lot, you’ll find all manner of vinegar infused pulled meats that are smoked to perfection and accented by some of that fine Carolina Blonde. The locally brewed beer, mind you, not the eye candy that’s also available if you’re looking for that sort of thing. Carolina Tailgaters enjoy a good brew and there are lots of locally created favorites to sample as you make your way through the parking lots on Sunday.
I’ve always been impressed with the Tailgating setup in and around Bank of America Stadium. With the stadium being centrally located in the downtown area, one almost expects that tailgating would be discouraged by the city of Charlotte. However, what visitors to this Tailgating Mecca will find in parking lots located around uptown Charlotte is nothing short of magical. Trailered Barbecue pits and custom rigs dot downtown lots as full sized grills and firepits are on hand to prepare some the league’s finest meals. To find the best of them, just roam the lots located along MLK Blvd between South Mint Street and North College Street. As I said, these fans are pros and it’s clearly evident on gameday.
My day began at eight in the morning on an unseasonably cold and rainy day in uptown Charlotte. No Carolina blue skies to greet me on my return to Bank of America Stadium this time, and no unfamiliar warm breezes to make me curse the weather I left behind in Detroit. It was a fairly miserable day weather-wise, much like what I left behind only a couple days before, but as I turned the corner I was greeted by a familiar face in Jeff Pintea, the Pantherman. Pantherman was inducted into the Visa Hall of Fans in 1999 to represent his Carolina Panthers as Visa honored a fan from every team in the National Football League that year. A veteran of Carolina Tailgating, Pantherman is always cookin’ up something interesting at the Cat’s Den, his secret base of operations on gameday. This week it was marinated steaks with some really incredible spiced brats. So we clanged a couple of cold ones, chatted about the state of affairs of our equally mediocre franchises, and before I left, he insisted I take a beer for the road. Now that’s some southern hospitality.
Whenever I’m in town, I always like to check in on two premiere hotspots for Carolina Panthers tailgating. The first is a group of folks that have charged themselves with attending to the resuscitative needs of their fellow Panther fans and they call themselves the Tailgate Rescue Crew. The second is a group of debaucerous die hards that always show me a good time, Coach Dano and PantherFanz.net. Tailgate Rescue Crew is always easy to find, just look for “Big Red,” the bright red-colored, converted 1973 step van and the crowd of people that has gathered around them for drink and merriment. Jason and his crew of top notch first responders, have an impressive following. Their website, TailgateRescueCrew.com, is geared toward showing folks a good time and supporting their local teams. They tailgate at Charlotte Bobcats games, Carolina Panthers games, and NASCAR events … these guys will even tailgate high school football if you let ‘em! This particular Sunday was their annual chili cookoff and an impressive array of slow cooked southern chili lined the tables outside of Big Red (I sampled several). With great music, beer on tap, and some of the best fans in the lot, Tailgate Rescue Crew is a must see on the road to thirty-one NFL stadiums.
If I’m in town to support the Carolina Panthers, my trip is not complete without spending some quality time with Coach Dano, Patrick, James, Joe, and Brian along with the rest of the folks at PantherFanz.net. Located right next to the stadium, to find these die hards just look for the PantherFanz Party Prowler and the massive group of Panthers fans that’s gathered in black and Carolina blue. The food is always of an exceptional quality and choice beverages of an adult nature are free flowing allowing fans to effectively lubricate their vocal chords in an effort to adequately support their hometown Panthers. What brings me back to hang out with the rowdiest bunch of Carolina Panther supporters you'll find outside Bank of America Stadium every year is the people. Joe the Cedar Street Seer, the prognosticator of prognostications (who was curiously not in attendance this week) along with Coach Dano and the rest of the boys live and die NFL football. Shots were doled out, a continuous stream of draft beer prevented me from reaching the bottom of my glass, and we talked NFL football for hours. This year they had some celebrity fans in attendance. All the way from Atlanta, came the crew from Fanbulance.com. These die hard bird watchers are the folks you've seen on the Visa commercial that ran throughout the football season this year. They tailgate in a converted ambulance that's decked out in Atlanta Falcons colors and they're some true road trippers. When I think about southern hospitality, these are the types of folks that come to mind.
After a full day of tailgating, it’s always amazing to realize that I still have an NFL game to attend and what a game it was … if you were a fan of the Atlanta Falcons. The Atlanta Falcons put on a clinic at Bank of America Stadium on how the class of the NFC operates on gameday. They ran the ball between the tackles, they played hardnosed defense, and they dominated a clearly weaker opponent pounding them in submission well before the final seconds of the game ticked off the clock. The Carolina Panthers are a bad team. With only one victory in the last thirteen games of NFL football, it’s tough as a fan to get yourself motivated to see mediocrity. So on a cold, rainy December day, there were a lot of empty seats at Bank of America Stadium and Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons posted a dominant 31 -10 victory over the Panthers.
"The Carolina Panthers are rebuilding."
Translation: Our team sucks and we don’t know what else to tell our fans so they'll continue to buy tickets to watch our crappy team.
As a Buffalo Bills fan, I’m intimately familiar with the rebuilding phases that “every team in the NFL goes through at some point”. My Bills, unfortunately, have been rebuilding for over a decade. So when exactly to they start just building? I guess we’ll see you at the top of the draft board in April, Panthers Fans. My Bills appear destined for a top 5 pick as well. At least we still have some of the finest tailgating in the NFL. I’m sure eventually things will turn around.
For more information on the city of Charlotte, North Carolina check out my other reviews by clicking on the links below:
NFL: September 18, 2011 - Green Bay Packers vs. Carolina Panthers
NFL: October 25, 2009 - Buffalo Bills vs. Carolina Panthers
NFL: November16, 2008 - Detroit Lions vs. Carolina Panthers
NFL: October 29, 2006 - Dallas Cowboys vs. Carolina Panthers
NFL: Carolina Panthers, Bank of America Stadium - 2010 Stadium Tour
NFL: Carolina Panthers, Bank of America Stadium - 2009 Stadium Tour
NBA: Charlotte Bobcats, Time Warner Cable Arena - Arena Tour
NBA: Charlotte Bobcats, Time Warner Cable Arena - General Information
NHL: Carolina Hurricanes, RBC Center - General Information
|City of Charlotte Local Information|
Top Tourist Attractions:
NASCAR Hall of Fame
Richard Petty Driving Experience
Carolina BBQ, Fried Chicken, Brunswick Stew
What They're Drinkin':
Carolina Blonde, Highland Brewing Company, Red Oak
Pecan Parking Lot B-3
Local Sports Media:
The Charlotte Observer
Getting to the Stadium:
Bank of America Stadium is located in uptown Charlotte. There's no city metro rail in Charlotte, so if you're a visitor your best bet is to drive to the stadium and park in one of the many lots scattered throughout the city on gameday.
Uptown Charlotte (Buckhead Saloon, Bar Charlotte, Coyote Joe's, Tempo,
The Attic Bar, Breakfast Club)
The Epicentre (Suite, Kazba, Whisky River, Howl at the Moon)
Uptown Charlotte (Mert's Heart and Soul, Lavecchia's Seafood Grille,
Alexander Michael's, Chima Brazilian Steakhouse, French Quarter,
The Epicentre (Blackfinn American Saloon, Flemings’s Prime Steakhouse
& Wine Bar, Enso Asian Bistro and Sushi Bar)
Brixx Wood-Fired Pizza
Pocket Map of Charlotte
Stadium Parking Map
Fan Forum: CarolinaHuddle.com
Where to Stay:
Find a hotel in the downtown area as Bank of America Stadium is right downtown. I would suggest the Ritz-Carlton, Courtyard Charlotte, or the Residence Inn by Marriott.
Compare Prices for Carolina Panthers Football Tickets Here:
Click on the following links for Carolina Panthers ticket availability at each of the top online ticket brokers on the web. Try each link to find the cheapest NFL ticket prices:
Take a Stadium Tour of Bank of America Stadium:
Bank of America Stadium Tours - click here for info
Ticket Prices: $5 Adults,$4 Seniors,$3 Children
Phone Number: 704-358-7538
Falcons Fans made the Trek
|Shot Time at Bank of America Stadium|
|Brian and Me, Self Medicating - Pregame||PantherFanz Party Prowler||Preston,Diane,Nisel,Holly,Mary,Debbie,&Tom|
|Tailgate Rescue - Atlanta Falcons Fans||Inside Tailgate Rescue - Kelvin's Man Cave||
Debbie (the good-lookin' Paula Deane),
Diane, Holly, Mary
|Jermain, Myself, and Atlanta Zeke||Photo with Mascot is the Hardest Thing to Get||Erik, Myself and Jermain|
Please feel free to post any suggestions or comments you might have
for my journey to Bank of America Stadium, including the following:
- Local Hotspots (Bar Districts, Restaurants, Clubs)
- Local Foods (Traditional Cuisine, Micro Brews)
- Tailgating Traditions
- Your Experiences or Helpful Hints
- If you saw me let me know!
All commentary will be moderated. Your e-mail address will not be published.
From: Brian Mazurowski from Goldsboro, NC
Sent: Tuesday, November 03, 2009 6:41 AM
Great pictures and review
didn't see the picture I was looking for (wearing the AFL Maybin
throwback). I have to say agree though, I was also somewhat disappointed
in the conduct of some Bills fans. It seems when the Sabres or Bills
come into town the absolute WORST Buffalo fans crawl out of the gutter
to make us all look bad. I cheered on the Bills pretty feverishly and
was not really messed with aside from the small child beside me calling
TO, Terrell "Broken" the whole game. It was a little disheartening to
see how many Panthers fans began leaving at half time but what can you
do? Anyways, great review and love the site man!
Hey Brian. I'll send over that photo!
From: Kenny Sansone
Sent: Wed, October 28, 2009 6:08 am
Like always, loved the site. Great review and great pics. And I checked out fowling.org also. Looking forward to giving it a shot on Sunday! See you this weekend!
From: Brian Mazurowski
Sent: Tuesday, October 27, 2009 10:23 AM
Met you at a Panthers tailgate spot this weekend
at the bills and panthers game. Was wondering if you're going to post
the pictures? Anyways, good luck and awesome time meeting you!
They're up brother, let me know what you think!
From: Dan Ortel
Sent: Tuesday, November 18, 2008 12:40 AM
Great meeting you and glad everything worked out! If you go up to http://www.pantherfanz.net and click on the link pictures from the lot you will see a bunch of pictures from the tailgate for that day. I believe there are 85 pictures posted there right now. Also, if you have any good shots you took I would appreciate it! The bus is called the 'Pantherfanz Party Prowler'