By BEN LEDBETTER
Professional sports are nothing new to Charlotte as it has watched the beginning of the National Football League's Carolina Panthers and two different incarnations of the National Basketball Association's Charlotte Hornets.
Now, there is Major League Soccer's Charlotte Football Club, which opened its season last month with a 3-0 road loss against the D.C. United.
Charlotte FC's home is Bank of America Stadium and the club's March 5 home opener was in time to witness the soccer-specific renovations and enhancements to the stadium.
According to a statement from MLS, the upgrades cost nearly $50 million and include soccer-specific locker rooms and a player tunnel for Charlotte FC.
Improvements for fans include a premium club seating area, an LED display and an upgraded concourse and east gate.
While the LA Galaxy defeated Charlotte 1-0 on a goal in the 77th minute by midfielder Efrain Alvarez, there were 74,479 fans in attendance.
Following a 2-1 loss at Atlanta, Charlotte earned a 3-1 home win over New England on Saturday, March 19.
“We really deserve it. We really deserve it," said Charlotte coach Miguel Ramirez in a statement. "Because of the work that we are doing, the way we are playing. We’re still very new, babies and still very far from giants compared to these big clubs, but we are reducing the distance between them and us.”
Charlotte hosts Cincinnati Saturday, March 26 at 5 p.m. Ramirez said he is looking ahead to the next game.
“I told the guys, we didn’t get to this point, just to get to this point. We want to keep going and win the next game on Saturday. We want to get all six points in these back-to-back home games."