Charlotte skyline will glow blue for national broadcast of Panthers game tonight

The Charlotte skyline will go blue tonight in a coordinated show of support for the Panthers.
The Charlotte skyline will go blue tonight in a coordinated show of support for the Panthers. THE CHARLOTTE OBSERVER

When the Carolina Panthers play the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday in Charlotte, the national audience watching on CBS will see Charlotte’s new approach to self promotion: A color-coordinated skyline.

Every building that can will turn its lights blue for the night in a show of support for the Panthers. So will fountains in places like Romare Bearden Park, two blocks from the Bank of America Stadium.

Buildings that can’t switch to blue will switch on their lights, too, as part of a concerted effort by Charlotte Center City Partners to make Charlotte’s skyline pop on national television.

That means as many as 50 uptown buildings will be aglow for the game, which starts 8:25 p.m.

“It makes our skyline a statement,” said Moira Quinn of Charlotte Center City Partners. “Tonight, it will show unity and support for the Panthers. It will show how passionate we are.”

In coming months, coordinated uptown skylines will also be used to promote the Charlotte Hornets, veterans causes and the Red Cross’ 100th anniversary.

Color coordinated skylines are not completely new to uptown, having been first tried when the Panthers went to the Super Bowl in 2003. However, it has become easier in recent years as more uptown buildings have switched over to energy efficient LED lighting which can be color adjusted more easily.

Charlotte’s skyline is typically dimmed at night, as part of an initiative to cut energy usage in uptown by 20 percent over five years. That program is on target to make its goal, Center City Partners officials said.

Events like the Panthers game tonight are considered special occasions, Quinn said. This is the third or fourth time this year the lights have been coordinated, she added.

“What we’re doing now is more than just making a pretty impression,” she said. “There’s an economic development value. You never know when the decision maker for new headquarters will be watching or a group looking to make a move to a new place...Every positive impression we can make matters in the world of economic development.”