Democrats Trying To Make 'Panthers Stadium' Happen [UPDATED]
Maggie Haberman reports that for the second time, the host committee responsible for spreading the good cheer about the upcoming Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina has referred to the venue for Thursday night's speech from President Barack Obama as "Panthers Stadium."
"Panthers Stadium," if I recall correctly, is where the Dillon Panthers of the "Friday Night Lights" teevee series play. Certainly this would be a bold and transcendental move, to have the last night of the convention take place in a fictional town in Texas. But that's not actually happening. Rather, the folks behind the convention would just prefer to play down the actual name of the Carolina Panthers' home field -- Bank Of America stadium.
A host committee spokeswoman didn't respond to an email. But it's not like the stadium was ever called Panthers Stadium - first opened in 1996, it was Carolinas Stadium, and later Ericsson Stadium. Then the current corporate iteration.
The closest connection the venue has to the name "Panthers Stadium" is the fact that it's owned by "Panthers Stadium, LLC."
One can understand why the Democrats would prefer not to remind people of Bank Of America. For the past two years, BofA has earned the honor of being Consumerist's Second Worst Company In America (it finished behind BP in 2011, and EA in 2012.) The bank's CEO, Brian Moynihan, is habitually whiny about all the criticism that's constantly hurled at his bank -- criticism that's well earned, by the way -- so perhaps it's for the best that the Democrats just want to leave him out of it completely. Of course, not mentioning Bank Of America is probably good for Team Obama Reelect, too, in that it won't be constantly calling attention to words like "foreclosure" or "bank."
But still, "Panthers Stadium?" I already know what Fox News is going to do with that.
UPDATE: Dan Murrey, the Executive Director of the Convention host committee assures me that they are not embarrassed by the association with Bank Of America, at all. He sends along a statement:
Bank of America has been a great local partner and supportive of Charlotte's efforts to host the 2012 Convention. Anyone who takes the time to visit our website will see that we have no problem referring to Bank of America Stadium. We also refer to it as Panthers Stadium from time to time, the more informal local nickname of the stadium.
The thing is, downplaying the connection to Bank Of America really makes a lot of sense.
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Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas)
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.)
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.)
Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.)
West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin
Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.)
Rep. Bill Owens (D-N.Y.)
Rep. Kathy Hochul (D-N.Y.)
Rep. Mark Critz (D-Pa.)
Rep. Jim Matheson (D-Utah)
Rep. John Barrow, D-Ga.