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Panthers unveil first round of stadium renovations

  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/06/25/21/10/Z5BQo.Em.138.jpeg|180
    MARK HAMES - mhames@charlotteobserver.com
    The new display screens at Bank of America Stadium are more than 200 feet wide and 60 feet high -- twice the size of the old ones
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/06/25/21/09/pFRlP.Em.138.jpeg|500
    MARK HAMES - mhames@charlotteobserver.com
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/06/25/21/09/iEi1j.Em.138.jpeg|169
    MARK HAMES - mhames@charlotteobserver.com
    The Carolina Panthers showed off the progress of renovations at Bank of America Stadium on Wednesday. The stadium is popular for tour groups who want to see renovations in progress and near completion.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/06/25/21/10/qIuUh.Em.138.jpeg|258
    MARK HAMES - mhames@charlotteobserver.com
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/06/25/21/10/1uNLIj.Em.138.jpeg|142
    MARK HAMES - mhames@charlotteobserver.com

The Carolina Panthers unveiled the first set of renovations at Bank of America Stadium on Wednesday morning, revealing new escalator bays and two display screens flanking the field.

The renovations, which began in January and were expected to cost $65 million, came in under budget, said Scott Paul, director of stadium operations for the Panthers. He wouldn’t say how much the renovations cost but said the remaining money will be used for future renovations, which will continue over the next two years.

The four new escalator bays are intended to get fans to the upper-level seats faster. The new display screens are more than 200 feet wide and 60 feet high. They are more than twice the size and have higher resolution than the old ones, which were installed in 2008.

Paul said only minor projects remain – tasks such as installing flagpoles, finishing landscaping projects and securing lightning protection for the new display screens. On Wednesday, workers were seen installing glass and Panther head logos on either side of the screens, but Paul said they were 95 percent complete.

“We’re in really good shape,” he said.

The team hired Turner Construction to complete the renovations, which were mostly funded by the city of Charlotte. Last year, City Council voted to give the team $87.5 million in exchange for a firm six-year “tether” to keep it in the city. Of that, $75 million was designated for renovations. The remaining $12.5 million will be used for team operating subsidies.

Paul said the renovations will be completed by the middle of July.

The stadium will open its doors to the public July 25 for Fan Fest.

Cassella: 704-358-5384 Twitter: @mmcassella
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