By Ryan Bailey
The Seat Selection process has officially started—and one fan has the honor of being the very first to confirm his spot at Bank of America Stadium
CHARLOTTE—Anticipation and excitement for Charlotte FC’s inaugural season has ramped up among fans in the Carolinas with the start of the season ticket member Seat Selection process.
Fans who have placed deposits for the Supporters Section and Premium Seating have started to confirm their attendance for Charlotte FC’s historic first campaign, a process that will continue over the coming months. On Thursday, when seat selection officially began, one such fan unwittingly made history by becoming Charlotte FC’s first-ever season ticket member.
“I was really surprised to find out I was first!” says Ashish Patel, whose fast fingers made him the very first supporter to confirm his selection. “I saw Charlotte FC tweet in the morning that seat selection had started, so when my window opened at 1 p.m., I tried to be as quick as possible. I guess I was really quick!”
Patel lives and works in Raleigh, N.C., but is a regular visitor to the Queen City, with family living in Huntersville. “I decided to buy season tickets right after the team was announced,” says Patel, who has been a Panthers PSL owner for 10 years. “I put a deposit down in December 2019, as soon as I received an email about it.”
Patel describes himself as a casual soccer fan, who currently enjoys watching La Liga and the Premier League. “I can’t get enough of Ray Hudson’s La Liga commentary,” he says, referring to the excitable Englishman’s calls on beIN Sports.
His soccer fandom, however, will reach a new level in 2022, when he takes up one of the eight seats he secured for friends and family in the Supporters Section. “That’s going to be the heartbeat of the stadium and there’s no other place where we’d rather be,” he says.
While Premium Seating will bring benefits including excellent sightlines and all-inclusive snacks and non-alcoholic drinks, it is the Supporters Section that will be the catalyst for atmosphere at Bank of America Stadium.
In that section, in the Lower Level behind the East Goal, fans will be expected to sing, cheer and stand for the full 90.
“I’m looking forward to the pageantry, chanting, waving flags, the tifos, and the black-and-blue smoke,” says Patel. “And that’s all before kickoff. It’s going to be electric.”
With Charlotte FC’s inaugural season getting closer on the horizon, there is plenty to be excited about. But when Patel is asked about the one thing he is looking forward to the most, his answer is succinct:
”Beating Atlanta United.”
Seat Selection is happening now. To make history with Charlotte FC and explore the benefits of season ticket membership, click here.