Jaguars, Panthers Unveil Stadium Upgrades To Impressed Fans At Weekend Events
EverBank Field's upgrades were unveiled on Saturday prior to a friendly between DC United and EPL club Fulham FC, and those in attendance gave Jaguars Owner Shahid Khan "a standing ovation as he took the podium to debut the video boards," according to Meredith Rutland of the FLORIDA TIMES-UNION. Khan and Jacksonville politicians "counted down, and fans’ voices rang in the air for the 'three, two, one.'" The screens showed "a series of shots of Jacksonville’s horizon as the sun rose," and those in the stands "turned their heads, leaned onto railings and snapped photos." The screen then "went dark, and the stadium crowd erupted as the Jaguars flooded the screen." The stage was "transformed for country singer Carrie Underwood’s concert" following the inaugural video presentation (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 7/27). In Jacksonville, Gene Frenette wrote the revelation of the stadium upgrades represented the city and the Jaguars "renewing their marriage vows." Only a "naïve person would have any lingering doubt" about Khan and "his commitment to making the NFL work in Jacksonville." The debut of these "eye-catching video boards and other stadium amenities should cast the NFL team in a different light" for the Jaguars' "biggest cynics." EverBank Chair & CEO Rob Clements said, "They’ve raised the bar significantly in terms of the game-day experience. The rest of the league is now playing catch-up" (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 7/27).
FEELS LIKE CAROLINA: In Charlotte, Curry Shoff noted the Panthers on Friday held their "first public event in the newly renovated Bank of America Stadium, and 36,315 fans turned out to see the upgrades." The stadium enhancements include "two new videoboards and ribbon boards, an updated sound system, escalators, lighted domes at the entrances, exterior lighting and paving bricks." The escalators were "a popular attraction for curious fans." Panthers coach Ron Rivera said, "The (videoboards) are impressive. I really liked what we saw as far as crowd participation" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 7/26).