So the new season also brought with it some very cool improvements to the arena experience. Those of us with season tickets in the "Uptown" concourse have always enjoyed the "Rock the Rooftop" area at one baseline. Very nice bar area with some hightop tables, and an interactive zone for the kids.
However, those of us sitting at the opposite baseline have either missed out, or been forced to make the trip half way around the arena to enjoy the amenities of Rock the Rooftop.
All that has changed this season. The opposite baseline used to feature a very sad looking "Loop de Hoop" bar, which rarely had any patrons, and usually had some very disinterested looking "bartenders" that hadn't had a customer in some time. There were hightops, but they were almost entirely empty. The section also features an outdoor area, which was used almost exclusively as a smoking section.
This year they changed the Loop de Hoop bar to a "Craft Beer Garden" featuring a variety of local North Carolina brews. They added chalk boards behind the bar listing the extensive variety of beers available. Faux ivy was placed on some of the support beams, and wood paneling was also added to enhance the look. They also added one of those giant metal beer tanks to enhance the craft brewery vibe. The plaques on the tank say it was formerly used by South End Brewery from 98-05, then Old Meck from 05-12, then NoDa from 12-13, although my years may be off.
Not content with that, they also added a small stage with a live band that performed throughout the game (including during the start of the National Anthem, which I'm assuming they'll politely ask them to cut out). The band was unfortunately absent for last night's game, but will hopefully be a regular occurrence for all weekend games.
Business was really booming, with the high top real estate in short supply, people enjoying the outdoor area (even if they weren't smoking) and a fantastic "party" atmosphere going on even a full half hour before tip. Pre-game & halftime were both nuts.
It went from me never seeing a customer at Loop de Hoop, to multiple lines 15 people deep on opening night. Now, obviously opening night is going to be better business, but this was still WAY beyond anything I saw at any game last year (and I went to a lot of them).
In short, really nice job by the 'Cats. I think they know they're on to something, because they promoted it during the game with a live video spot from the area.
I'd like to see two distinct sections develop: Rock the Rooftop where the families take the kids, and the Craft Beer Garden where the young professionals & adults sans children go to relax. Check it out next time you attend a game!
Also looks like @darrenrovell and some others have been tweeting about this! There's also this article about it (well worth a read), and the Bobcats sent out an e-mail about an official ribbon cutting tomorrow night. I don't even really drink beer, but very happy to see some excitement brought to this area of the arena that used to be sort of a wasteland. Finally, a snippet from the article I linked earlier:
It will feature between 16 and 18 taps along with tables, chairs and televisions. You won’t be able to catch the game from there, but team officials hope it will become a frequent hang-out spot.
“We envision it more as a destination,” said Pete Guelli, the team’s executive vice president and chief sales and marketing officer.
The Bobcats have had craft beer in the arena on occasion, but never in the volume the team is planning now.
Last edited by CableBoxCat; 11-07-2013 at 09:10 PM.
Really impressive change. I noticed it as I came around the corner to my section and talked with the bartenders. Had zero intention of ordering a beer but just had to ask what it was about (the notable visible change) and after getting the rundown, could not leave w/out a NoDa Porter. I subsequently posted on the Game Thread moments later
So again, major props! Not only for the visual improvement but much more importantly for the community call-out you guys have been doing great with in going all local on the beers.Upstairs Beer Garden outside section 233 is local brews only. 18 on tap. Tripple C, OMB, NoDa Brewing Co. I am not that into beers but its just another great community-oriented decision that the FO has done that I think is stellar.
Will this beer also be discounted during Wed. night basketball games?
Go Panthers, Go Bobcats, Go Hurricanes - War Damn Eagle
Doubtful. The Wednesday night beers aren't even really discounted that much, they just sell a smaller size that's only available on Wednesdays. I'm guessing that will just remain an exclusive to whatever regular beers they sell at the standard concession stands.
Love the idea of having the craft brew section. I sit inches from the rooftop bar though, and I wanna support the local brews but 10$ is steep.
Into the crevasse!
"Climb down Lemon, Climb down"
Kind of how I feel. I love the idea of accessible drinks
BUT THE PRICES
Ribbon cutting was tonight, and I was happy to see the live music back. Guess they're just going to be bringing out the stage for weekend games (which makes sense). Here's the video they showed at the game tonight: