Thursday, November 3, 2011

How can Panthers' stadium experience be improved?

I wrote my column today on whether Cam Newton should make the Pro Bowl -- expanding my blog post from Wednesday into a full-length column.

My bottom line was that if I had to vote today, I wouldn't vote Newton for the Pro Bowl. You can pick three quarterbacks from the NFC, and I would pick Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Matthew Stafford. But Newton would be my fourth choice -- and the No.4 quarterback actually gets to play in the Pro Bowl a majority of the time, because one of the top three is either gearing up for the Super Bowl or hurt.

As for other Panther news, the team has decided it's time to renovate Bank of America Stadium and has hired an architectural firm for a year-long study on how best to do that. "The major emphasis will be on improving the fan experience," Panther president Danny Morrison told our own Joe Person about this. But Morrison offered few other details.

OK.... so if that's the case, how would YOU like to see the fan experience improved at B of A Stadium? The stadium opened in 1996, so it's 16 years old and showing its age a bit, although still plenty good enough I think to host the team for decades to come.

I would certainly think the stadium needs a technological upgrade, however. The "new" video boards were an improvement four years ago, but still not to the level of what I see at many stadiums around the country. And the scoreboard could use some work and expansion, for sure. I am sure there are other things you can think of that I can't.

Again, a warning to keep the comments clean. They stayed mostly that way for yesterday's blog post on Cam Newton -- thanks to the 95 percent of you who had thoughtful things to say -- but by the end degenerated too far and I had to hide all the comments as a result of that.

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

A giant panther head on the top of stadium facing downtown. That lights up for big games and "growls" after touchdowns. It would light up carolina panther blue for night with glowing eyes. Also, anything like tampa bay's party ship would be awesome, a party zone to watch games from.

Anonymous said...

They have got to add additional screens on the lower level and possibly moving sidewalks for access to the upper decks on the ramps.

Guest Relations Leader said...

Stop selling alcohol! We don't need a 73,000 seat bar. Almost most fan complaints relate to other inebriated fans. Every ejection is affected by alcohol. Clearly post no-smoking signs that are large enough for all to see. Ditch the dorky "Stand and Cheer for the Panthers" song.

Anonymous said...

What ever happened to marching bands at halftime? I mean, Frisbee-catching dogs and Harris-Teeter football-tossing contests are awesome...but, really...

PanthersPaul said...

Please, please add some sort of way for fans to make noise other than slapping their chairs, how about some metal floors to stomp on?

Anonymous said...

How about more exits from the upper deck? It takes you 45 minutes to get out of the stadium because there are only two ramps down. And tell the guy who wants to stop selling alcohol to get a life.

Anonymous said...

Add some newer Bigger screens! Some fireworks to start the show.. Really anything that represent NC and SC but make it big and nice.

Patrick said...

- Improved sound system. Up where my seats are - the sound is terrible. Speakers only in the end zones does not do it.

- Larger screens. Turn the entire area at each end zone that is currently signs and screen into 2 giant HD screens. Hire the guys that did the one at the race track to do it.

- Don't have 100% of the on-field non-football entertainment activities face only the Panthers bench side of the field. This is not high-school - there is not a "home side" - us fans on the other side pay good money too and should get to see something other than the back of the band on occasion.

- When the game is over - allow us 30 minutes or so to hang out in the stands to let things clear out before leaving. For the last two weeks we have been kicked out of our seats within minutes of the game being over. After the win against Washington - this is how it went - the game was over and the announcer came on and said "Please turn your attention to the monitors for our last NFL Red Zone highlights of the day - but before you do so - please welcome YOUR Top Cats as they celebrate a victory!" - So the Top Cats begin a routine and a Panther official comes and tells us they have to clear the stadium and we have to leave. My wife says "But we want to watch the Top Cats - the announcer told us to stay and watch." - The panther official said we could watch but not from our seats that we had to leave. What?? Really? You kick PSL owners and fans out BEFORE all on-field activities are completed? You don't want your fans to leave during the 3rd quarter - but then give them less than 10 minutes to leave once the final whistle blows. Anyone who has walked down the ramps of BOA after a loss with your family listening to the obnoxious drunk fans screaming their team's chant understand why I would prefer to wait 15 minutes in my seat before leaving.

I emailed the Panthers about this and the person there has been great. He told me that is not their policy and that he would address it. Well it happened again this week and when I emailed him again he seemed genuinely upset and concerned so I expect it will be taken care of.

- Change up the routine on game day. Us PSL owners fully realize that Phil Collins "In the Air Tonight" plays at noon. (Don't believe me - look for it Sunday) But come on... switch it up a little?? Hire someone with a bit of creativity.

- I was there during the Monsoon game. We are up high so it was just the rain we dealt with. But I felt for those below us that were literally sitting in water falls and rivers. Pipe the drainage out of the stands - don't just allow it to run down and build up.

Anonymous said...

Can we get some wi-fi or better cell phone reception? I can't do anything on my phone while I'm there.

Patrick said...

To Anon 9:49 AM -

This is your options with cell/wifi:
- If you are on ATT - they do have a free ATT wifi hotspot. Does not work so well up high - but works ok down lower.

- As for cell phone - it is the 3G that is overwhelmed. If you can, set your phone to only work over GSM (Edge) networks - this works great. I do this with my Android phone. Friend this weekend could not figure out how to do it with his iPhone however. Score one for the Android.

Ken said...

Ways to a better fan experience:

1. Win
2. Lower ticket prices
3. Lower beer prices
4. Fewer "wine and cheese" fans that ask you to sit down or, even worse,call ushers when you stand up and cheer.
5. Rather than spending money to renovate (which really isn't necessary), spend money on a defense. That will lead to accomplishing #1.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Patrick! I have a blackberry (and a galaxy tab that I don't want to take to games) and have tried with Sprint and Verizon before and they both have terrible reception. At least they are getting better at posting stats for fantasy football since the NFL now requires it but I still like to check my teams during games.

Anonymous said...

FYI - Charlotte based architect was the one who came up with and designed the Buc ship - but Panthers are sending money out of state for design services that can readily available here.

Anonymous said...

I'd cut out part of the stadium to reveal the Charlotte skyline some more. In that area, sell $25 tickets so fans can get into the stadium to see the game. There are a few stadiums that do this now. Next, give us much bigger replay screens. The new ones were an improvement but were outdated before they were done. Finally, put some kind of overhang on the upper deck so that the sun doesn't melt you in September. It would also make the stadium louder. Go Panthers!

Anonymous said...

Drums. They should really play up the drum line and include it as part of the game. Maybe put a super large drum in each corner of the field to celebrate touchdowns. They could create an entire jungle theme truly unique to the NFL yet similar to the Buccaneers pirate theme. Oh yeah, winning would help.

Anonymous said...

I also like the Pirate ship in Tampa. We need some "wow" fanzone type areas in the stadium to jazz it up a bit. I don't care what they say about Jerry World, we are lucky to have a classically designed stadium that can stand the test of time. If you look at many of the 90's era outdoor stadiums, ours has aged the best. And please, no talk of a dome. The folks up in Minnesota actually liked going to outdoor games again last year. Domes and turf just suck.

Anonymous said...

I believe the "wine and cheese" comment might be directed at PATRICK. Beyond that, I don't care if you are a PSL holder. One you step into the stadium, you are a fan. No one cares that you bought a PSL. You do not deserve preferential treatment because of your investment. In what other areas of society do stock holders get preferential treatment? If you own Exxon stock, do you get better mileage or a preferential treatment at the pump? If you want to watch the Red Zone channel, stay home!

Anonymous said...

a better product on the field. we don't need any drum lines, panther dens, or marching bands.

i would like to see more flyovers, those are special. in college those happened at our football stadium a lot.

Anonymous said...

A proofreader at the CO.


"What to fans want out of a Sunday with the Panthers?"

Anonymous said...

Panther Jungle like the Tampa bay ship. Make it a beer grotto so you don't miss the game while waiting in line for beer. HAve all kinds of jungle themed stuff in it. Essentially it would also be like the bobcats beer garden.Make it more inviting for fans, maybe have a push and more places to hang signs and banners on game day.

Anonymous said...

It would be really cool if BOA could get a retractable roof. Maybe have a highlight video play before player introductions or before Cam's introduction. This doesn't have anything to do with the stadium, but I think the logo can be changed to look more aggressive. New uniforms to reflect a new attitude and era.

Patrick said...

Really I am "wine and cheese" since I bought a psl? I am "wine and cheese" since I am a big enough fan that I want to come to every game? Does it matter that I only paid $400 for the PAIR of my PSLs so felt it was a bargain I could not pass up? Am I "wine and cheese" because I suggest something the Panthers can do to help keep people from leaving the game in the 3rd qtr? Am I "wine and cheese" because I offer a suggestion on how to get cell phone reception?

Hmmm... ok - I do like Cheese on my nachos. But not much into wine. Because if being a fan that goes to every game an hour before the game starts, stays until the final horn no matter what the score, sat out pretty much alone in my section during the monsoon, and religiously follow every bit of information I can find throughout the week means I am a "wine and cheese" fan - then so be it - I am a proud "wine and cheese" Panther fan!

Anonymous said...

Make it a dome...

Anonymous said...

I think one change can be made right away, and that's to either TRAIN OR REPLACE THE VOLUNTEERS WORKING THE CONCESSION STANDS!!!!

It is literally impossible to get out of your seat at halftime, go to the restroom, get something to eat, and get back to your seat by the kickoff.

I know the volunteers are their to raise money for their respective organizations, but GOOD LAWD!!! They take FOREVER to get anything done. If you want to know why the stadium looks empty after halftime, THIS IS WHY!!

Maybe someone could clue them in to the fact that the more people they serve, the more they sell, and the more they make.

tony said...

i would like to have a viscous live panther inside the visitors tunnel kinda like lsu has at death valley. that way everytime the opposing team is getting ready to take the field, they are scared half to death. just food for thought....

tony said...

a hungry panther

Richard Johnson said...

Add fake spectators. Wait a minute...already have that!

Fire the concessions workers and corp. and hire unemployed people.

Lower the prices on food and drinks!

Anonymous said...

honestly, open up the stands for more regular fans. I get real tired of seeing that club level half empty. Some type of jungle theme would also be cool im not completely set on jungle but we need something that sets our stadium apart from just being a football stadium it needs to be home field.

Richard Johnson said...

Make the opposing team's fans pay twice as much for tickets, food and drinks, to offset the Panther's fans costs.

Michael Bacon said...

I love the drum line idea!

Remove some sections of seats for low cost standing-only tickets.

Actually train the volunteers running concessions. Develop personnel systems there to increase efficiency. Seriously, that would dramatically increase sales.

Hold a competition to write better team songs, then let the fans pick them.

WyattEarp77 said...

Stop playing "Sweet Caroline" after a Panther victory. This song was written by a guy who grew up in Brooklyn about Caroline Kennedy. Why not play "Carolina in My Mind" written by a guy who grew up in North Carolina about his longing to be back in Carolina when he was away?
I have a couple of guesses regarding why they don't. First, perhaps they would have to write a check to James Taylor? If that's the case, write the damn check. Second, maybe the song is considered to be too closely associated to NORTH Carolina and would not be appreciated by SOUTH Carolina fans? That's just wrong. The song is encompassing of the entire region and is popular in SC as well as NC.

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