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BoA Stadium switching to artificial turf

Bank of America Stadium is set to switch to an artificial playing surface to cater for increased use of the pitch when the MLS’s Charlotte Football Club begin playing there next year.

The arrival of Charlotte FC at the stadium means there could be up to 30 professional games a year played in the stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Based on that increased activity, Tepper Sports & Entertainment vice president and chief operating officer Mark Hart acknowledged that the organisation is making the switch to FieldTurf in order to provide a consistent playing surface.

In addition to a full slate of Carolina Panthers NFL and the MLS games next year, there are also more college football games (Appalachian State-ECU on Sept. 2 and Clemson-Georgia on Sept. 4 as well as the ACC Championship and Duke’s Mayo Bowl) on the docket, along with the potential for high school football games, Charlotte FC Academy matches and plans for many more events.

There are already holds for concert dates into 2022, when the music industry expects to be back in full swing after being shut down during the Covid-19 pandemic.

There are discussions about many other events (sports and otherwise) in the future as well, and the stadium has already been used for early voting, mass vaccination events, and festivals. Hart said:

David Tepper’s vision is for the building to be a community asset. With two major professional sports franchises using Bank of America Stadium, and more events upcoming, having a natural grass surface is going to be a heavy lift. We believe a synthetic surface provides the best solution.

FieldTurf products are already used in five other NFL stadiums (Atlanta, Detroit, New England, Seattle, and New York Giants/Jets) and 11 other NFL practice facilities (those six teams plus Green Bay, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, and Washington).

Installing a FieldTurf product will also be consistent with what the Panthers practice on in the Atrium Health Dome behind the stadium.

The plan is for all those artificial surfaces to be the same product, giving the Panthers a consistency from the game week to gameday.

In MLS, Charlotte FC joins five other teams playing on artificial surfaces (Atlanta, New England, Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver).

The surface at Bank of America Stadium is FIFA Quality Pro certified, and four other MLS teams already play on FieldTurf, including Seattle, Atlanta, and New England, where the football and soccer teams share playing fields. There are also 13 practice facilities in MLS that feature FieldTurf.

FieldTurf has also improved its product over the years, and the new Bank of America Stadium surface will feature the company’s Vertex CORE turf and CoolPlay technology, which is designed to help keep the surface cooler than older artificial surfaces.

Image courtesy of Carolina Panthers

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