A $14 million stadium improvement project means that Carolina Panthers fans will see a big change at today's Fan Fest: new video screens above each end zone.
Installed this spring at Bank of America Stadium, the giant display boards – used to show replays, game information and advertisements – replace smaller screens that, in recent years, caused griping among some fans.
Daniel Saunders of Charlotte, a longtime permanent seat license owner, said he noticed how obsolete the Panthers' display boards were after seeing newer, larger screens at other NFL stadiums.
“Ours were woefully behind, which was hard to believe because the stadium, to me, was still so new,” said Saunders, whose seats are in the upper deck, at the 20-yard line.
At roughly 31 feet high by 77 feet wide, each screen is about triple the size of the old displays. The Panthers also upgraded the sound system at the 73,504-seat stadium, which opened in 1996.
Made in Japan, the new displays aren't the largest in the NFL; the Miami Dolphins have a board that measures roughly 50 feet by 140 feet. But team officials say their boards will have the highest picture resolution in the league.
Now the Panthers just need to give fans a reason to watch the screens for replays, Saunders said.
“My highlight the last couple of years,” he said, “has been the TopCats.”