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Fifty-three years after it was opened and dedicated as the Charlotte Coliseum, the city’s historic stadium on Independence Boulevard is getting a new name--Bojangles’ Coliseum.
The Charlotte City Council unanimously approved a naming rights agreement with the Charlotte-based chicken ‘n biscuits restaurant chain Monday. The Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority also approved the naming rights Tuesday morning.
The vintage sports and entertainment venue—which boasted the world’s largest unsupported steel dome when it opened in 1955—was most recently known as Cricket Arena. Known throughout the years as “The Big I” and “The Old Coliseum,” the stadium was officially named the Charlotte Coliseum until 1988, when it became Independence Arena. The naming rights agreement that changed the name to Cricket Arena in 2001 expired in 2005.
“The Charlotte Coliseum opened in 1955 and the first Bojangles’ opened in 1977 in the South End area of Charlotte, so we both have a long and rich history serving this community,” says Randy Kibler, Bojangles’ president and CEO. “Bojangles’ Coliseum is an historic property and one-of-a-kind facility in an area of Charlotte that deserves our attention. We are two Charlotte originals, and are honored to put Bojangles’ name on this historic Queen City venue.”
Owned by the City of Charlotte and operated by the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, the 10,000-seat coliseum has seen its share of sports and entertainment excitement over the years. Elvis Presley, The Rolling Stones, Queen, Hanna Montana, the ACC men’s basketball tournament, the Carolina Cougars, the Charlotte 49ers, the Charlotte Checkers, and many more have enthralled fans in Charlotte’s most storied coliseum.
“Bojangles’ Coliseum has always had an old-time atmosphere and tradition that appeals to us all, and we are thrilled that we’ve been able to put these two hometown favorites together,” says Mike Crum, COO, Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority.
In the next few months, Bojangles’ Coliseum will play host to 3 Doors Down, Monster Truck Winter Nationals, Carolina Speed, “Genesis” TNA Wrestling Show and much more.