I’ve never been to any stadium based event, I’ve been to Brands Hatch and a few concerts but nothing could have prepared me for what it would be like.
The Bank of America Stadium is massive, a capacity of 80,000 and a load of stairs, normally this wouldn’t be too much of a problem but add the heat into the equation and it makes walking up A LOT of steps even more challenging.
Before kick-off there was the usual prep on the pitch, people wandering around everywhere, running to get this and that – just like the good old days at Westlands, we were shocked when they brought out a large flag onto the field carried by the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department, there were flares, fire and cheering as the players came onto the pitch and also the national anthem sung by Julie Roberts, the whole thing was quite moving, seeing everyone in the stadium standing up with the national anthem in the background. Then came the surprise, a fly past by a military cargo plane times perfectly with the end of the anthem.
The game got under way and we sat there and sat there, the game wasn’t that spectacular but it was an experience the score at the end was Atlanta Falcons – 20, Carolina Panthers 6, obviously the Panthers were asleep or dying of heat exhaustion or something.
At half time they unveiled yet another flag…this time covering the whole pitch, it took god knows how many people to carry and god knows how many people to fold up again afterwards.