Weather, soccer match has Panthers grounds crew working OT

Bank of America Stadium (Photo: James Willamor / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0)
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The grounds crew at Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium will be working overtime this weekend to transition the field from a Major League Soccer game on Saturday to the NFL regular season opener between the Carolina Panthers and visiting Cleveland Browns on Sunday.

Because heavy rains are predicted in the Charlotte area throughout the weekend, the organization will be painting the lines for both sporting events — soccer lines in yellow and football lines in white — on the artificial surface before the weekend.

The lines will not impact the NFL game as the yellow MLS lines will be removed immediately after Saturday’s soccer match between Charlotte FC and New York City FC.

However, having conflicting yellow and white lines prove confusing for the soccer match.

“This is not ideal but is unavoidable given the weather forecast,” Tepper Sports and Entertainment said in a statement Friday. “We never want our soccer field to have football lines, but we are thankful that we will be able to play both games this weekend.”

Eight supplemental groundskeepers have been added to assist in the transition for the weekend, including the director of field operations for UNC-Chapel Hill and former major and minor league head groundskeepers for baseball and golf. Some of this group also assisted in previous quick turnarounds.

The crew is considering options for painting the end zones and middle of the field for the Panthers game and will make a final determination based on weather.

The Panthers consulted NFL franchises from New England and Seattle — who also host MLS teams in their stadiums — for their recommendations on best practices.

Categories: Associated Press, NC, NC-Carolinas, News, Sports