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Carolina Panthers stadium to welcome its first beer festival. Other events may follow.

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Panthers owner David Tepper hinted on Thursday night at the timeline for a new indoor practice facility.

Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper is making good on plans to start bringing non-NFL events to Bank of America Stadium.

For the first time, a beer festival will be hosted at the stadium. Untappd, a beer mobile app, is putting on the inaugural Untappd Beer Festival May 4.

The festival will feature over 100 brewers from across the Carolinas and beyond, pouring samples of a handful of craft beers at booths on the field at the stadium, according to a statement from the Panthers Tuesday.

“We’re looking to bring high-quality events to the stadium that lead to other opportunities,” Scott Paul, the Panthers vice president of stadium operations told the Observer.

Some popular local breweries that’ll be in attendance include Bold Missy, Triple C, Resident Culture, Wooden Robot and Town, according to the festival’s website.

Tickets go on sale to the public Friday at 9 a.m. General admission tickets are $50 and include four hours of beer sampling from 4-8 p.m. The festival also offers other ticket options such as VIP, which includes five hours of beer sampling, food pairings and souvenirs.

More information on the event can be found at http://www.untappd.com/festival.

In addition to the festival, a launch event will take place March 6 from 4-7 p.m. at Legion Brewing’s SouthPark location.

Trace Smith, Untappd’s president and chief operating officer, said the festival has the capacity for 15,000 people.

Smith said the plan is to make the festival a recurring event, with Bank of America Stadium as its home. “The Panthers have been great to work with,” he said.

In the months since he bought the Panthers last summer, Tepper has mentioned several times that he plans to host more events at the stadium. In his introductory press conference in Charlotte in July, Tepper brought up concerts and high school state championship football games as possibilities.

Since opening in September 1996, the stadium has hosted just two concerts: The Rolling Stones in 1997, and Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw in 2012.

‘Doing more’

The city of Charlotte has brought a few other high-profile events like international soccer matches to the stadium.

Those events are possible because the city receives five rent-free days as a perk from the deal it made with the Carolina Panthers in 2013. As part of the deal, the city provided $87.5 million in public funds to help renovate the stadium.

Mostly, though, the stadium has remained relatively quiet during the off-season.

“Prior ownership wanted to focus on football,” Paul said of former Panthers owner Jerry Richardson. “Dave wants to focus on doing more ... off the field and in the community.”

Other NFL stadiums have hosted beer festivals, too. Soldier Field in Chicago, for example, in May 2017 hosted the Chicago Beer Classic for the fifth year in a row.

Bringing more events to a stadium provides greater visibility to sponsors who have a presence in the stadium. Tepper has said that adding sponsors in the stadium is something he could look to do to tap into new revenue sources.

In the team’s statement, Panthers President Tom Glick said that Bank of America Stadium “is very much open for business.” He said that bringing in major national sporting and entertainment events to the city is a priority for him.

“The beer and brewery scene continues to be a beacon for the growth of our region, and we can’t wait to welcome many local and national brewers to our stadium,” Glick said.

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As the retail and sports business reporter for the Observer, Katie Peralta covers everything from grocery-store competition in Charlotte to tax breaks for pro sports teams. She is a Chicago native and graduate of the University of Notre Dame.
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