The Panthers are my favorite team for a multitude of reasons, and not all of them have to do with me just attending my first NFL game at then Ericsson Stadium. So, for all the people wondering what this team is about, I've compiled a list of the top 10 reasons to be a Carolina Panthers fan. We will put a new reason up each Tuesday...

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The Panthers are my favorite team for a multitude of reasons, and not all of them have to do with me just attending my first NFL game at then Ericsson Stadium. So, for all the people wondering what this team is about, I've compiled a list of the top 10 reasons to be a Carolina Panthers fan. We will put a new reason up each Tuesday...

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10 Reasons to be a Carolina Panther Fan: #9

I've often been asked, "Why are you a Panthers fan?" <br><br>The Panthers are my favorite team for a multitude of reasons, and not all of them have to do with me just attending my first NFL game at then Ericsson Stadium. So, for all the people wondering what this team is about, I've compiled a list of the top 10 reasons to be a Carolina Panthers fan. We will put a new reason up each Tuesday...<br><br>

Anyone who has been to a Panthers game, or even seen one on TV knows it; the team is set in one of the nicest, prettiest, and most awe-inspiring environments in the entire league. The city is absolutely gorgeous, and the stadium is world class. Even the training fields are top notch. When it comes to the Panthers, no expense was spared to make sure that everything was as good as it could be.

When driving down I-77, you round a curve that takes you to the heart of downtown. Prior to that, you get a great view of the city. The tall skyscrapers of Charlotte are as functional as they are aesthetically pleasing. But once you ‘round the bend, Bank of America Stadium suddenly pops into view. Its unlike anything you will ever experience. One minute there is nothing but sky; the next, arguably the most beautiful stadium in sports pops into view, large as life.

When you approach Bank of America Stadium, the dark charcoal-colored exterior walls make the light grey trim pop out. The large blue windows over the entrances set all of it off. Its not just a stadium meant to house a football team; it's a stadium built around and for a specific football team. Drive by almost any other stadium in the league, and most of them are interchangeable; they don't truly represent their team. They're just large structures built for functionality. But the ownership of the Panthers made one hundred percent sure that their facility made jaws drop. The stadium looks like it was meant to hold this football team, not just a place for the team to play.

Outside the entrances, you'll find the largest commissioned sculptures in the United States, the "Indomitable Spirit." Three groups of two Panthers guard each entrance, ensuring that people know that the house is protected. You've seen pictures of them; they're perched, ready to pounce, and are snarling down at the onlooker. But nothing can prepare you for their size, might and majesty until viewed in person. A medium sized person could easily crawl in the mouth of one of these things. They just look tremendous.

Outside of the stadium, in between the two main entrances, is the Hall of Honor, where statues Mike McCormack and Sam Mills wait, ready to greet you. These two individuals helped to shape the team into what it is, and are honored on your way into the stadium.

When you get inside, you'll notice there isn't a bad seat in the house. All seats are pointed toward the field. Sitting in the 500's affords you an excellent view of the action, unlike other facilities where nose bleed seats are a thorn in the ticket holder's side. The field is actually closer to the seats than most other stadiums, as well. Next time you watch a game on Fox, check out the first row and how far it is from the sideline. Then check it out in Charlotte. Big difference, right?

Those that sit on one side of the field get a stunning look at the skyline of Charlotte easing its way over the stadium walls. The view on the field is great, and so is the view away from the field. The walls inside aren't just cold concrete; they're laid out in a very welcoming fashion that's very pleasing to the eye, and not just laid out haphazardly as s support system.

The locker rooms, weight rooms, and training fields are all top notch. There are very few stadiums that are able to pull so much off at the same time. The Panther fans find it inviting, while opposing fans find it intimidating. I encourage anyone to go on the tour that is offered at the stadium. They hold them once a week on a first come, first serve basis. You will be in for a real treat.


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