CHARLOTTE – Within the next month, many major features of the Bank of America Stadium renovations will spring to life.
Director of stadium operations Scott Paul said Friday that testing on the east end zone video board, both ribbon boards that encircle the stadium bowl and the sound system could begin in about a month. All the escalators in the four bays that are being constructed should also be in place.
"They'll begin testing a lot of that stuff in the month of June," Paul said. "The goal of all these projects is to affect all of our fans, and we think we've met that with all four projects.
"The majority of the fans are going to be able to utilize the escalators, and all the fans will be able to enjoy the ribbon boards, the increased size of the video boards, the improved sound system and improved circulation outside the stadium."
Three-and-a-half months into phase one of renovations and two months away from the July 1 deadline, work continues at a feverish pace. All 196 LED panels are in place for the east video board, and virtually all of approximately 600 panels that comprise the two ribbon boards have been installed.
The first of 12 escalator sections was installed this week, and with South Mint Street alongside the stadium closed over the weekend, two more should be hoisted into place in addition to some precast work on the bays.
"Turner Construction continues to work seven days a week," Paul said. "They are at about 150,000 man hours on the job as of today. At any given time, we're at approximately 200 workers on site."
Projects aimed at enhancing the stadium-in-the-park feel are under way as well, with new pavers being installed around the outside of the stadium. The installation of glass in the light domes on the 500 level continues, and it won't be long before the exterior of the escalator bays begins to take form.
A couple of months from now, when workers put the finishing touches on phase one, the Panthers will be ready to unveil a cutting-edge facility that will maintain its classic American feel.
"Our goal is to make it a seamless design from initial stadium construction," Paul said, "pulling the skin off and building the escalator bays out, then putting the skin back on so that the average person wouldn't even realize the escalators were added 17, 18 years later."