Panthers parties begin in earnest this weekend with the first home game of the season (thankfully those preseason games were just practice). The blue-and-black celebrations start Friday and continue through Sunday’s 1 p.m. kickoff. Here’s a sampling:
- Bud Light Prowl Party. The Panther Prowl is back at the EpiCentre for a second season. Head up to the Pavilion every Friday starting at 5 p.m. before a home game. This week, Bud Light is casting fans in a commercial for its weekly tailgate party that will be aired on the big screen at Bank of America stadium. Ladies, you’ll be competing in a Locker Room Challenge and men will face a skills competition. Must be 25 years or older and available for filming on Sunday at 9:30 a.m. The 20 selected for the commercial will get two tickets to Sunday’s game, entry into the Bud Light Tailgate (complimentary food and drinks at the corner of Mint and Morehead streets) and a Bud Light Panthers jersey. (
210 E. Trade St.; www.pavilionatepicentre.com.)
- Rally in the Alley (Cat). Stop by Alley Cat on Saturday and you could win Miller Lite suite passes to the Panthers home opener. Or try your luck at paper football in the Finger Flick Challenge. It’s all part of a new regular party – hosted by WFNZ’s The Hitman – at the uptown bar. Other highlights include live music by Crash Box, a flip-pong tournament, a performance by the Alley Cat dancers and a free wing buffet from 8-10 p.m. (314 N. College St.; www.thealleycat.com.)
- Sunday Funday. Get to Stool Pigeons at 10 a.m. Sunday to pop the first $2 Bud Light of the season (hey, it’s five o’clock somewhere, right?), sample the new breakfast menu and get a prime table in front of the bar’s wall of TVs. You can also make a table reservation (for parties of six or more) by e-mailing Rich@RockHouseEvents.com. (214 N. Church St.; www.rockhouseevents.com)
- WFNZ Dog House. A staple before Panthers home games is WFNZ’s Dog House that sits in the shadow of the stadium at Mint and Morehead streets. It’s open only on game days when the WFNZ on-air team broadcasts from the bar and fans use it as a tailgating/meeting/game-watching spot. Just added to the back patio is a patch of lush green grass painted to look like a football field where fans can play cornhole. Big Daddy’s is among the vendors grilling burgers and BBQ for tailgaters this season. The Dog House opens two hours before every home game and stays open as late as two hours after the game ends.
Looking for a spot to watch football where Steve Smith jerseys won’t block your view? A number of area bars cater to
- Catch Michael Vick’s return to the NFL at Eagles bar Steamers. (
1513 Pierson Drive)
- Hail to the Redskins at Picasso’s Dilworth location (1301 East Blvd.) or uptown at
. ( Whisky River 210 E. Trade St., inside the EpiCentre).
- Hooters in
reserves its indoor patio every week for the Cowboys Fan Club. ( Concord 7702 Gateway Lane, Concord)
- Twirl your Terrible Towel at Steelers bars
Dixie’s Tavern ( 301 E. Seventh St.) or Hickory Tavern’s Providence Roadlocation ( 11504 Providence Road).
- Watch Eli Manning’s quest for a second Super Bowl at Giants bar O’Shea’s (
8120 Ardrey Kell Road).
- See if Tom Brady still has it this season at Patriots bar Beantown Tavern (
130 Matthews Station St.).
- Will T.O. catch the game-winning touchdown? Check him out at Bills bars Tavern on the Tracks (1411 S. Tryon St.) and Town Tavern (200 N. Tryon St.).