Saturday morning I took a walk around Bank of America Stadium, home of the Carolina Panthers. Here it was July 2 and we were (and are) still in a Lockout. While I am not a Carolina Panthers fan (I'm a proud member of the Who Dat Nation), it did make me think about how different the stadium will be this fall if there is no football. And not just the stadium, but all of Uptown Charlotte. As someone who lives Uptown just blocks away from the stadium, I've come to love Sundays for more than just the games on TV. Come Sunday afternoon my neighborhood turns into one big tailgate party. I look out my window and see fans in their jerseys tossing a football, having a beer, and trash-talking with fans of the visiting team who are parked beside them. As game time approaches, fans pack up their food, beverages, and other belongings, and head to the stadium, while others make their way into the local bars. I know this same scene is playing out in many other cities from New England to Seattle.
I'm remaining hopeful that the spirit of football will fill the air once again a couple of months from now and that Bank of America Stadium won't remain empty and lifeless through a phantom football season. (All photos were taken by me.)
"The fan is the most valuable member of our team." – Jerry Richardson
(Images are my own.)