Five things to know about the CONCACAF Gold Cup, which returns to Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium with a doubleheader Wednesday including Cuba vs. Guatemala at 6 p.m., followed by Mexico vs. Trinidad & Tobago at 8:30 p.m.
1 The Gold Cup is the championship tournament for FIFA’s CONCACAF (North, Central American and Caribbean associations). This is Group C’s final doubleheader before the knockout stage begins. Mexico trounced Cuba 6-0 and Trinidad & Tobago beat Guatemala 3-1 in opening games Thursday in Chicago. Mexico faces Guatemala and Cuba plays Trinidad & Tobago on Sunday in Phoenix.
2 Mexico, the six-time Gold Cup champion which has always drawn strong crowds in Charlotte, is without star striker Javier (Chicharito) Hernandez of Real Madrid, who is missing the tournament with a shoulder injury.
3 The tournament got off to a bad start for the Cubans, who had one player defect in Chicago. Then, six players and coach Raul Gonzalez Triana weren’t at the match because they couldn’t obtain visas.
4 An impressive stat from the Mexico against Cuba game: Mexico had 44 shots on Cuban goalkeeper Diosvelis Guerra.
5 More than 40,000 tickets have been sold for the games. Both games area on Fox Sports 2. Tickets: www.concacaf.com/tickets.
▪ Gates open at 5 p.m. Wednesday.
▪ Bank of America Stadium is a smoke-free facility. Smoking is prohibited inside all areas of the stadium including concourses, seating areas, and all suites and club areas. This includes, but is not limited to, cigarettes, vapor cigarettes and electronic cigarettes.
▪ Noise makers, such as vuvuzelas, are a prohibited item inside Bank of America Stadium and will NOT be permitted.
▪ The NFL’s bag policy will not be enforced. However, all bags will be searched and those no larger than 8” x 10” x 14” will be permitted. Guests are encouraged to limit the amount of items they bring with them into the stadium.
▪ There will be several fan-related activities around the stadium. Located on South Mint Street just outside Bank of America Stadium, Futbol Fiesta is an interactive fan area with games, food, music and more. Futbol Fiesta will open at 4 p.m. and close at 8:30 p.m.
▪ Tickets can be purchased at www.CONCACAF.com/Tickets, by calling Ticketmaster or visiting the ticket office at Bank of America Stadium.
▪ Bank of America Stadium offers the ability to secure parking adjacent to the stadium for the Gold Cup doubleheader in Lot 1, also known as the Mint Street Parking Facility for $40. This parking deck is located at the corner of Mint and Graham streets and is directly across from the stadium's North Gate. This location offers convenience and ease, offering three entrances and exits. PLEASE NOTE: Lot 1 will be available to park one hour before the start of the game. In addition, alcohol, grilling and open flames are prohibited in this parking deck. Parking passes for Lot 1 can be ordered by visiting http://oss.ticketmaster.com/aps/panthers/EN/promotion/home. There is a $2 fee per order.