The Carolina Panthers said Friday that the first phase of the team’s $65 million stadium renovation project is on schedule and going well, despite the recent snowstorm.
Team officials invited reporters to Bank of America Stadium to update the public on Turner Construction’s progress in updating the 18-year-old stadium.
Workers started the project five weeks ago and remain on schedule to finish in early July, said Scott Paul, director of stadium operations. On any given day, 175 to 200 workers are present.
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The snow did “set us back a little bit,” he said, but Turner had made allowance for potential delays in the pre-construction schedule.
Perhaps most noticeably from outside the stadium, workers pulled down the old video monitors that showed instant replays.
Welding crews could be seen working on the frame Friday, reinforcing it in preparation for the new, much larger boards.
The new ones will be 200 feet wide and 60 feet high – more than twice as large as the old ones, Paul said. Installation will begin in May.
Workers are also building the four new escalator bays that will carry fans to the upper levels. The old “ribbon boards” that displayed statistics have been taken down to make room for larger new ones.
“All these upgrades in this first phase were about the fan experience,” Paul said. “We want to keep this stadium updated, we want to keep the experience fresh.”
New speakers have already been installed around Bank of America Stadium.
The city of Charlotte is picking up the tab for most of the renovations as part of an $87.5 million deal that “tethers” the team to Charlotte for six years.
In addition to the $65 million for construction, the team also gets $12.5 million in operating subsidies.
The city is tapping its Convention Center fund to support the project...
The team is spending $37.5 million itself on this phase of improvements, and plans to undertake more renovations in 2015 and 2016.