CHARLOTTE, NC — Monday’s game against the Patriots was the first time Monday night lights have shined on Charlotte in five years. Combine that with two playoff-contending teams, and Charlotte’s got a buzz that’s good for business.
With the longest Panthers winning streak in eight years, there’s an excitement in the city that hasn’t been felt in a long time.
Center City Partners CEO Michael Smith says its a big night for Charlotte.
“It’s not just the 72,000 fans that are going to come and watch this game. It’s everyone that just wants to be around it. The energy, the pulse,” said Smith.
That pulse is pumping into Uptown Charlotte hotels. WCCB checked, and they were all booked Monday.
To accommodate the crowds, The Dunhill Hotel had a full staff for one of the biggest nights of the year.
“Monday Night Football is special, and the Patriot fans realize that as much as the Panthers fans do, so everyone wants to be here for it,” said John Beatty, general manager of The Dunhill Hotel.
When they’re here, they’ve got to eat.
“Always steady business for football, but nothing quite like this!” said Brian Smith, manager of The Dilworth Neighborhood Grille.
The Dilworth Neighborhood Grille is capitalizing on the excitement. Panthers fans not only packed the restaurant, they also packed two free shuttles offered by management to the game.
“The attitude around town because of a winning team is just so much better. Everybody’s happy, everyone loves having a winning team,” said Smith.
Tickets were going for up to $2,000 Monday. Ticketmaster and other ticket sites sold out, so many fans tried to buy a ticket on the street.
“This guy that just came off the train tried to charge me $300 for nose-bleeds. Lower level was going for like $700. People trying to scam, looking for a come up!” said Panther’s fan Amy Foster.