*Correction: Niner Times apologizes for this article being published under the wrong name in the print edition.
49er fever has exploded all across campus since construction began on McColl-Richardson Field on April 28, 2011.
Fans and students alike have long-awaited the arrival of 49er football. The excitement around the 2013 season is continuing to grow exponentially.
The work to build the 49er football stadium, the newest monument in Charlotte’s ever-expanding history, has finally reached the first stage of completion. All of Niner Nation has earned something to take pride in.
McColl-Richardson Field was drafted with expansion in mind. The new stadium features a playing field below the surface level of the entry gates that gives fans a closer vantage point to the action come 2013.
The very same red brick that lines the walkways of Charlotte’s campus was used in the construction of the stadium to keep a consistent theme throughout.
The main spectacle of the stadium is the team field house that sits center stage and eliminates an entire wing of stadium seating because of its size.
Directly opposite of the field house are the main gates for entry.
The unique gates emulate the same style of entry that is featured in only just a few other teams’ fields, professional and college.
But another important aspect of 49er football has yet to be built.
Based on the growth in attendance over the next few years, Charlotte will elect to expand the stadium seating. The stadium can already hold 15,300 fans in its seats but will be able to hold 40,000 pending the further expansion.
The potential for increasing attendance only bodes well for Charlotte’s notoriety as it quickly jumps into the FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision) in 2015. For the first two years, however, Charlotte will be an FCS (Football Championship Subdivision) Independent school.
In an interview with 730 ESPN Radio, 49ers head coach, Brad Lambert, stated that he anticipates practices to pick up by the end of September.
Practices will be every Saturday and will be open to the public. The first scrimmage at McColl-Richardson Field will be Oct. 20, 2012, which will also be open to the public.
Charlotte fans will not have to sit out the entire 2012 college football season without football in its own backyard. There will be plenty of excitement with the anticipation of what is to come during the 2013 season.
Charlotte’s new home for Saturdays will give being a part of Niner Nation a completely different definition.
Until then, students will have to wait until next August for game day while the rest of the area prepares itself for 49er football to begin.