Carolina Panthers radio broadcasting director David Langton leads Queens sports reporting students on a tour of Bank of America stadium. Photo by Connor Keith.
It is a Carolinian football fan’s dream.
Scores of tiny details make it Charlotte’s football palace — everything from the Cardiac Cat logos emblazoned on the backs of chairs to the electric blue and silver ‘x’s and ‘o’s in the carpeting.
Of course, the venue is none other than Bank of America Stadium, home of the Carolina Panthers.
David Langton is the executive producer of radio broadcasts for the Carolina Panthers, with responsibilities held since the team played its first season at Clemson University. Langton also shares his expertise with a sports reporting class in the Knight School of Communication. Langton recently led the class on a media tour of the Panther cathedral. Langton introduced the class to press conference rooms; the small television studio where Panthers Huddle, Carolina’s pre-game program, is produced; the visitor’s locker room; broadcast and press booths; and Langton’s own studio domain for live radio broadcasting.
First stop was the booth reserved for national television broadcasters. This was one of many booths along the western side of the stadium, reserved for home and away radio productions, coaches, and journalists. Langton then took the group south to the media overflow section, where he introduced them to the Panthers’ social media manager and one of the website content creators.
“My favorite part was meeting with them and learning about what they do,” said Nick Lanciani, a sophomore communication major. “That’s the kind of job I’d like to have some day.”
Before concluding the tour, Langton provided the class a final favor: a look inside the Panthers’ locker room and a team meeting room. (Both are vastly superior to the amenities of the visiting team).
What could possibly be a bigger dream for a Carolinian football fan than touring Bank of America Stadium? The Panthers winning a Super Bowl? You’re getting close. Could Bank of America Stadium and Charlotte host a Super Bowl?
Langton confirms that there have not been many public discussions about pursuing a Super Bowl in Charlotte. But there is room to speculate, since MetLife Stadium hosted Super Bowl XLVIII in chilly East Rutherford, N.J. last year. In addition, following what he considered to be a successful Democratic National Convention in 2012, former mayor Anthony Foxx claimed Charlotte had the capabilities to host a Super Bowl-magnitude event. The notion floated once again when $200 million in stadium renovations were completed in 2014, with $87.4 million coming from the city.
Langton agrees that, especially following the completion of renovations, “the stadium is Super Bowl worthy.” He cites the NFL league preference for stadiums without roofs to have average temperatures of 50 degrees plus in February. (Charlotte hovers slightly above this mark at 55 degrees.) The NFL also desires at least 25,000 hotel rooms nearby. According to the Charlotte Sports Foundation, there are 31,000 rooms in Mecklenburg County, with 4,200 in Uptown.
For Carolina sports fans, based on these numbers alone, there is little barring the NFL from denying Charlotte an edition of the Super Bowl.