Jackson Kaplan, Staff Writer
Since the year 1996 when the fall season hits the Carolinas, residents of Charlotte and surrounding communities will gather inside the 75,412-seat Bank of America Stadium to enjoy a chill afternoon of Carolina Panthers football. Bank of America Stadium is a popular destination for fans from all over the region, including college students who are looking for a great time.
Students from UNC Charlotte, Wingate University, Queens University of Charlotte, Belmont Abbey College, Catawba College and other institutions from around the area can come take a break from their studies to watch classic NFL football game. While many fans buy a ticket, park and walk straight into the stadium, other football fanatics form their own game day traditions.
One notable, classic Sunday tradition is tailgating before a game. Fans gather with their friends and family in parking lots to grill food, have some drinks, listen to music and socialize before entering the stadium. Other Panthers fans may have a favorite restaurant in Uptown Charlotte they like to visit before every game.
Being a student at Wingate University and not having much money to spend can be difficult to be able to afford a ticket for the game. Ticket prices for National Football League games are very expensive, especially for decent seats in the stadium. Despite my father and I being Patriot fans, we enjoy going to an occasional Panthers game together.
NFL football is enjoyable to watch no matter if your favorite team is out on the field or not. About twice a year during the fall season, my father comes to visit from Raleigh to spend time with me and see a Panthers game.
Uptown Charlotte is one of my favorite places and it is always fun to experience the atmosphere on a game day. My father and I have always shared a special bond with sports, so we tend to make the most of every opportunity that we have the chance to get together.
My dad and I enjoy eating at the big Carolina Ale House in Uptown Charlotte before every game we have the opportunity to attend. It is only a few blocks away from the stadium and it has a great atmosphere for sports fans. Courtyard Hooligans is another cool joint as well.
There are multiple fun aspects to the Carolina Panthers game day experience. The Panthers Lair is a popular game day spot for fans to get them pumped up before kick-off. The lair is a free, pregame festivity open to the public that features interactive games, sponsor giveaways, food trucks and a DJ.
For younger fans, the team offers “Panthers in the Park” which is a pregame interactive area featuring hands-on football drills, meeting Panthers cheerleaders and the mascot. In addition, there is Sir Purr’s Play Den where kids can play on an artificial turf field and play many other football-related games. I used to enjoy these different activities when I went to Panthers games as a kid.
Students enjoy making the short drive up East Independence Boulevard with a group of friends to enjoy a game and relieve all the stress from school in one fun day. During NFL football season, Panthers games is the place to be for college students all around the surrounding Union and Mecklenburg county areas.
Edited by: Brea Childs