Carolina Panthers fans will see something new when they enter Bank of America Stadium on Sunday for the team’s season opener against Dallas.
The NFL shield at the 50-yard line, long-championed by former owner Jerry Richardson, is gone.
In its place is the Carolina Panthers logo. The Observer confirmed the change by drone flight on Friday afternoon.
The team’s social media department has been teasing fans since the preseason with the “Panthers Logo Challenge,” including a playful faux-plea to new owner David Tepper to put the Carolina Panthers logo at midfield in place of the shield. Panthers fans have responded to the “challenge” by taking photos of logos and team gear all over the world.
Many fans in Charlotte have wanted to make the switch for several years, but Richardson wouldn’t budge. Bank of America Stadium and MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., where both the New York Giants and New York Jets play, had the shield at midfield.
Tepper has made it clear that he wants to usher in a new era for the Carolina Panthers by being forward-thinking while remaining fan-friendly. By replacing the shield with the team’s logo, he’s sending a message to the fan base that he heard their wishes, and has responded.
The Panthers’ game against Dallas kicks off at 4:25 p.m. on Sunday.