North Carolina’s Bank of America Stadium will begin renovation works later this month, as the arena prepares for its MLS debut with Charlotte FC.
Charlotte will join MLS as part of the league’s expansion in 2022, after billionaire David Tepper founded the franchise and applied for MLS status in 2018. That application was approved within 18 months, and the name of the new club was confirmed in December 2019.
Tepper also owns a controlling stake in NFL side Carolina Panthers, who have called the Bank of America Stadium their home since it was built in 1996. From Spring 2022 onwards, though, they will have a new neighbour, as Tepper’s Charlotte FC will play their MLS home games at the 76,000-capacity stadium.
As reported by StadiumDB.com, it will begin renovation works from March this year to bring it up to MLS standards.
While the stadium holds close to 76,000 fans for NFL games, Charlotte will not utilise its entire capacity, opening only the bottom bowl to begin with. But that still leaves plenty of room for the Charlotte FC fans: Roughly 40,000 seats will be available.
Around $50m will be spent on bringing the stadium up to scratch, and works will include the construction of a new tunnel and dressing rooms specifically for the soccer club’s players and coaching staff.
Space will be made for a VIP ‘premium club’ for fans who are ‘willing to spend a little more money’, while eight new broadcast positions will be built closer to the pitch to suit MLS TV standards.
The renovation works are expected to take around a year to complete, but should be done in time for the start of the 2022 season, which kicks off in April.