Bank of America Stadium (formerly known as Carolinas Stadium and Ericsson Stadium) is a 73,778-seat football stadium located on 33 acres (13 ha) of land in uptown Charlotte, North Carolina, USA. It is the home facility of the Carolina Panthers NFL franchise. It also hosts the annual Belk Bowl, which features teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference and the American Athletic Conference, formerly the Big East, and the annual ACC Championship Game through 2013. The largest crowd to ever attend a football game at the stadium was November 18, 2013 when a crowd of 74,225 watched the Panthers defeat the New England Patriots 24-20 during a nationally televised Monday Night Football game.
The stadium, originally known as Carolinas Stadium (this name is used when the stadium hosts FIFA events), opened in 1996, as Ericsson Stadium after the Swedish telecom company LM Ericsson purchased the naming rights to the stadium in a ten year, $25 million agreement. In 2004, the stadium received its current name after Bank of America purchased the naming rights for 20 years. Since Bank of America has acquired naming rights, many fans now refer to the stadium as, "The Bank", "The BOA", or "BOFA" and most recently "The Vault".
Bank of America Stadium does not serve as the primary home stadium for any college football team. However, it has hosted several college football games. The ACC Championship Game, first Saturday in December, pits the champion of the Coastal Division against the champion of the Atlantic Division; it has been held at the stadium since 2010, and will continue thru 2013. The Belk Bowl (formerly known as the Meineke Car Care Bowl and the Continental Tire Bowl), late-December, pits a team from the ACC versus a team from the American Athletic Conference; it has been held annually since 2002.
The stadium has also hosted several East Carolina Pirates games: In 1996 and 2004 versus the NC State Wolfpack, 1999 versus the West Virginia Mountaineers, 2008 versus the Virginia Tech Hokies, and in 2011 versus the South Carolina Gamecocks. An additional Pirates-Gamecocks game is scheduled for 2014. Local schools, including Davidson College, Johnson C. Smith University, and UNC Charlotte, have not utilized or seek to use Bank of America Stadium.
Though Bank of America Stadium is mostly used as a football facility, it has hosted events of all kinds throughout its history.
- It has been a site of the NCAA Men's Soccer Championship in 1999 and 2000.
- On March 24, 2010, the stadium hosted an international friendly match, between Mexico and Iceland, it was the first match, between two men's national soccer teams, to be held at the stadium.
- On June 9, 2011, the stadium hosted two first round matches of the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
- The Rolling Stones performed at the stadium during their Bridges To Babylon Tour on October 10, 1997.
- A Billy Graham crusade was held there in 1996.
- The closing night of the 2012 Democratic National Convention, in which President Barack Obama was expected to deliver his acceptance speech for the Democratic Party presidential nomination, was to be held at the stadium on September 6, 2012. However, due to predictions of thunderstorms, it was relocated to Time Warner Cable Arena.