Charlotte City Leaders Impressed With MetLife Stadium During Informative Visit
The NFL Panthers are finishing a "plan to renovate Bank of America Stadium," and the tour of MetLife Stadium Wednesday by Charlotte city leaders proved to be an "eye-opener for some council members, who were exposed to what is now considered start-of-the-art in pro football," according to a front-page piece by Steve Harrison of the CHARLOTTE OBSERVER. The city leaders saw "massive video boards," escalators to the upper bowl, private clubs that "resemble a five-star hotel, and one that allows fans to walk on the field, behind the players' benches." Charlotte City Council member John Autry said, "I shouldn't say I'm surprised, but I'm impressed." Harrison reported City Council members were "most impressed ... by numerous club areas that cater to New York City high rollers." Panthers Owner Jerry Richardson "made the trip to speak briefly to attendees," while Giants President & CEO John Mara "talked about how the stadium was built and funded." The Panthers have not "formally asked the city of Charlotte for financial help, but a number of city leaders believe they will be asked to help pay for the renovations." The club has hired K.C.-based architectural firm Populous "to conduct a long-range study" of Bank of America Stadium. Panthers President Danny Morrison -- who "didn't attend the New York trip -- said earlier he expects the study to be finished by the end of the year" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 10/25). The city of Charlotte paid for Mayor Anthony Foxx and six City Council members to make the trip at nearly $3,100 per person (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 10/25).