MEINEKE CAR CARE BOWL: CONNECTICUT vs. WAKE FOREST, DEC. 29, 1 p.m. ET
• Stadium name: Bank of America Stadium
• Address: 800 S. Mint St., Charlotte, NC 28202
• Home team: Carolina Panthers
• Capacity: 73,298
• Opened: 1996
• Surface: Grass
• Tickets: Purchase Meineke Car Care Bowl ducats from StubHub!
• Distance from downtown Charlotte: The stadium is located in the city center
• Driving distance to Chick-fil-A Bowl in Atlanta: 245 miles; 4 hours
• Web sites: Bowl site | Stadium | Seating chart | Directions and parking
• TV: ESPN
• Payout: $1 million
• City Guide: Charlotte
• Uptown Pep Rally, Dec. 28, 5-6:30 p.m. ET, The Square (corner of Trade and Tryon streets)
Get that football spirit and team pride showing. Head coaches and players will address the fans. There also will be cheerleader and band performances.
FOOD & DRINK
Mert's Heart and Soul
214 N. College St.
Charlotte, NC 28202
704-342-4222 | Web site
From the award-winning macaroni and cheese to the sweet, buttery cornbread to the shrimp and grits (Mert's southern, Low Country and Gullah varieties), inspired favorites leave guests with an unforgettable, "home cooked" experience.
1501 Central Ave.
Charlotte, NC 28205
704-376-3835 | Web site
One of eight locations in the Charlotte area, this funky neighborhood hangout used to be a gas station. It has retained the service-station theme in name and decor; outside seating is where the gas pumps once were located. Patrons can order by the slice or create their own combinations from the menu.
214 N. Church St.
Charlotte, NC 28202
704-358-3788 | Web site
Just a few blocks from Bank of America Stadium, the drinkery offers 21 beers on tap, in addition to other specialty brews. The menu offers many house favorites, as well as burgers, sandwiches and comfort food.
301 N. Tryon St.
Charlotte, N.C. 28202
704-372-6261 | Web site
Offers a three-story rain forest, aquariums and a space capsule motion simulator. Other features include a ham-radio room, a puppet theater and a 10-foot model of an eyeball that patrons can walk right through. Check the schedule for special exhibits.
Lowe's Motor Speedway
5555 Concord Parkway South
Concord, NC 28027
704-455-3200 | Web site
Feel The Thrill tour. Visit the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series garage, travel down pit road and take a picture in Victory Circle. The highlight of this half-hour tour is a comfortable van ride around the raceway, upon which you'll feel the force of the 24-degree banking.