2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Panthers to begin renovation after 2013 season

By STEVE REED - AP Sports Writer
    2013-02-12 15:11

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Carolina Panthers president Danny Morrison said the team plans to begin renovations on its 16-year-old stadium immediately after the 2013 NFL season and estimates the project could take two years to complete.

The master plan calls for between $261 million and $297 million in upgrades, according to Morrison.

Charlotte's City Council is backing a proposal to give the Panthers nearly $144 million from a food and beverage tax increase to pay for stadium upgrades and the team is seeking more than $60 million in state funds.

Morrison said the goal of Panthers owner Jerry Richardson has been to improve the experience for all 74,000 fans, not just those in the luxury suites.

``He gave us directions that the majority of plans need to be for 74,000 fans, not just premium seating,'' Morrison said. ``That list we've came up with affects all 74,000 fans. We also wanted to retain our classic designed stadium in a park but also bring it to the forefront with modern technology.''

The primary objectives include installing three escalators to reach the upper level, new video and ribbon boards and an improved sound system, as well as upgrading technology and stadium infrastructure and improving access to the stadium through enhanced entry gates.

Some of the other potential upgrades down the road include adding a roof terrace, a team history area, field club and an indoor practice facility.

Morrison emphasized the plan is fluid and could undergo changes along the way.

``There are some things you might end up not doing,'' Morrison said. ``And there could be something which surfaces with technology we don't even know about.''

Morrison said there are five priorities in the renovation:

- Installing three escalators that reach the upper level.

``If you were 55 years old when you bought a permanent seat license you are over 70 now, so that's a big deal to us,'' Morrison said. ``We'll still maintain the ramps, but now fans would be able to take the escalators up.''

- Upgrading video and sound, including two new, larger video boards, two ribbon boards, and a new sound system will help the Panthers keep up with other NFL venues at an estimated cost of $59 million.

- Installing new technology upgrades, including creating a new fiber backbone, cabling, WiFi, DAS and an IPTV distribution system.

``When people go to a game they're expecting more stats to keep up with fantasy football,'' Morrison said.

- Renovating the infrastructure of the stadium itself, which Morrison draws the comparison to maintaining your existing home. That includes upgrading the HVAC system, the playing field, concrete and seats.

- And, improving the entrance ways to allow easier access to the stadium. Since the team installed a new ``wanding'' process to screen fans entering the stadium it has slowed down the ability to get inside and created longer waiting lines outside.

``We have to have a more efficient system,'' Morrison said.

The Panthers stadium is middle-aged by NFL standards.

That's why the Panthers brought in four outside consulting firms in the summer of 2011 to analyze they stadium and determine its overall functional ability and the health of the stadium

He said they all found the ``bones'' of the stadium to be in great shape.

At that point it was clear the team would begin the process of upgrading the current stadium rather than building a new one.

Since the stadium opened in 1996, 25 other NFL stadiums have been built over undergone major renovations and three other cities - San Francisco, Minnesota and Atlanta - are contemplating new stadiums.

Populous, the company formerly known as HOK Sports, built the stadium in the mid-90s and was also hired to handle the renovations.

``It made sense because they built it,'' Morrison said.

Morrison said the Panthers would love to host a Super Bowl and the new upgrades would certainly help bring it up to par with some of the best stadium in the league.

The problem has always been an issue of hotel space in Charlotte.

As a general rule, a Super Bowl host city is required by the NFL to have 25,000 hotel rooms available within an hour of the stadium.

However, according to business research strategist Heath Dillard of the Charlotte Region Visitors Bureau there are 24,010 rooms in Mecklenburg County alone and an additional 7,600 rooms in the surrounding six-county area.

The problem is the there are only 4,100 rooms within walking distance to downtown, according to the CRVA. That could prove to be a deterrent to the NFL since it typically prefers to keep people in a cluster of larger downtown hotels.

``I think anybody in the NFL would love to host a Super Bowl,'' Morrison said. ``One of the reasons Mr. Richardson built it for 74,000 people is so it would have the capacity to host a Super Bowl. Originally stadium was going to be for 65,000 but he expanded it in case we were ever to host a Super Bowl.''

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Anthony SpencerJul 25 12:12a

Dallas Cowboys DE Anthony Spencer (knee) said he is feeling good but is not sure when he will be able to start practicing. Spencer said he is not sure [ More ]

Ndamukong SuhJul 24 05:02p

Detroit Lions DT Ndamukong Suh's long-awaited contract extension is highly unlikely to occur before the start of training camp, according to a source. The Lions commence training camp Sunday, July 27.

Vince WilforkJul 24 04:52p

New England Patriots DT Vince Wilfork (Achilles') said he doesn't have any limitations, or he wouldn't be practicing.

Aaron RossJul 24 04:42p

Baltimore Ravens CB Aaron Ross (Achilles') has been placed on Injured Reserve. Ross will miss the entire season with a torn Achilles' tendon.

Terrance WestJul 24 04:32p

Cleveland Browns RB Terrance West (undisclosed), DT Jacobbi McDaniel (undisclosed), OG Jeremiah Warren and OL Chris Faulk (undisclosed) returned to the team's active roster Thursday, July 24.

Corey PetersJul 24 04:32p

Atlanta Falcons DT Corey Peters (Achilles') plans to be back for Atlanta's season-opener, saying he's optimistic and is feeling good.

Kevin BurnettJul 24 04:12p

The Oakland Raiders have cut LB Kevin Burnett.

D.J. HaydenJul 24 04:02p

Oakland Raiders CB D.J. Hayden (foot) is out for the start of training camp with a stress fracture in his foot.

Odell Beckham Jr.Jul 24 03:42p

New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) did not take any reps in practice Thursday July 24, as he continues to rehab from a hamstring injury.

Jonathan StewartJul 24 03:32p

Updating a previous report, Carolina Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart (hamstring) is expected to miss one-to-two weeks as he recovers from a hamstring injury. Stewart will not be placed on [ More ]

Laron LandryJul 24 02:52p

Indianapolis Colts CB Vontae Davis (undisclosed) and FS LaRon Landry (undisclosed) both did not participate in practice Thursday, July 24.

Jason HatcherJul 24 02:42p

Washington Redskins DT Jason Hatcher (knee) said he is progressing pretty quickly from a knee injury. I want to get back on the field, but I know I've got [ More ]

Chase FordJul 24 02:12p

Minnesota Vikings TE Chase Ford (foot) had a procedure on his left foot last week for a stress fracture and is expected to miss training camp.

Justin BlackmonJul 24 02:12p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Justin Blackmon will not be cut by the team after his most recent arrest, according to owner Shad Khan. 'We want him to get help he needs,' Khan said.

Jamaal WestermanJul 24 02:02p

The Cleveland Browns signed LB Jamaal Westerman (Steelers) Thursday, July 24. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Taylor LewanJul 24 01:52p

The Tennessee Titans signed OL Taylor Lewan Thursday, July 24. Per NFL rules, the length of the contract is four years. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Larry DonnellJul 24 01:32p

New York Giants TE Larry Donnell is listed as the team's starting tight end on the first unofficial depth chart of training camp.

Tre BostonJul 24 01:02p

Carolina Panthers SS Tre Boston (hernia) was placed on the team's Physically Unable to Perform list Thursday, July 24.

Jonathan StewartJul 24 12:52p

Carolina Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart (hamstring) is dealing with a hamstring injury, but the team will leave him on the active roster heading into training camp.

Cam NewtonJul 24 12:42p

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (ankle) was cleared for practice, according to general manager David Gettleman.

Rob GronkowskiJul 24 12:12p

New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski (knee) was limited in practice Thursday, July 24. He worked for an hour and 15 minutes before watching the rest of the activities. [ More ]

Anthony SpencerJul 24 12:12p

Dallas Cowboys DE Anthony Spencer (knee) was placed on the team's Physically Unable to Perform List Thursday, July 24.

Aaron RossJul 24 11:52a

Baltimore Ravens CB Aaron Ross (Achilles') has torn his Achilles' tendon.

Deone BucannonJul 24 11:32a

Arizona Cardinals S Deone Bucannon was not dropped into the starting lineup during offseason workouts, as the team has faith in FS Tony Jefferson and FS Rashad Johnson. He [ More ]

Ray RiceJul 24 11:31a

Baltimore Ravens RB Ray Rice will be suspended for the first two games of the season, according to sources. The announcement is expected Thursday, July 24.

Blake BortlesJul 24 11:22a

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles' lower-body mechanics likely will be revised. Bortles' flaw has been over-reliance on his right arm when throwing; he doesn't use his legs enough. A [ More ]

Mikel LeshoureJul 24 11:14a

Detroit Lions RB Mikel Leshoure is currently believed to be the fourth tailback on the club behind RBs Reggie Bush, Joique Bell and Theo Riddick heading into training camp [ More ]

Justin BlackmonJul 24 10:53a

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Justin Blackmon was arrested for possession of marijuana Wednesday, July 23, in Oklahoma.

Jordan PalmerJul 24 10:52a

Chicago Bears QB Jordan Palmer still has the first shot at winning the backup quarterback job, according to head coach Marc Trestman.

R. Griffin IIIJul 24 10:22a

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III's designed running plays might be 'few and far between,' according to head coach Jay Gruden. He still has the green light to scramble [ More ]

Daniel FellsJul 24 09:42a

New York Giants TE Daniel Fells has received the first snap in 11-on-11 drills during the team's two days in training camp. Kellen Davis and Adrien Robinson have [ More ]

Ahmad BradshawJul 24 08:33a

Indianapolis Colts RB Ahmad Bradshaw (neck) has been cleared to practice. Bradshaw is an RB4, but he could be worth more if Trent Richardson fails to produce again.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group