Fans gather for Belk College Kickoff at Bank of America Stadium

Fans gather for Belk College Kickoff at Bank of America Stadium

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Less than 24 hours before game time, it started to become evident that Charlotte would be playing host to two teams other than the Carolina Panthers this weekend.

Fans of the Tennessee Volunteers and West Virginia Mountaineers football teams made the trek to Charlotte for the much-anticipated Belk College Kickoff game.

The game was played at Bank of America Stadium Saturday afternoon.

It was the first game ever between the two universities and featured former Davidson Day Quarterback Will Grier, who is currently the starting quarterback for West Virginia.

West Virginia won the game in dominating fashion with a 40-14 win over Tennessee.

Grier had a very impressive performance as he threw for more than 400 yards and five touchdowns.

The ticket office at Bank of America Stadium opened at 9 a.m. The FanFest began at 10 a.m. and the game kicked off at 3:30 p.m.

Around halftime, the game went into weather delay as bad weather approached uptown Charlotte.

The delay was due to heavy rain and lightning in the area of Bank of America Stadium.

The stadium displayed a message to fans at the game, advising them to take precaution due to the weather.

"Attention Please! Due to approaching weather, it is necessary that you leave your seat now and move in an orderly manner to the inner concourse areas of the stadium. Thank you," the message read.

Ticket holders started leaving the stadium around 6 p.m. due to the weather delay. Volunteers and Mountaineers fans said the party would continue at local bars until game resumed.

Crews had already blocked off roads Friday night to set up for the FanFest that took place before the big game.

While neither team calls the Queen City home turf, fans were excited about the opportunity to watch their teams play at a neutral site.

"We love it. We've been down here since just this afternoon. We've eaten dinner. It's awesome," said Tennessee fan Debbie Wilson in an interview Friday night.

Another Volunteers fan said he likes the idea of showcasing big-time college football in different cities across the country.

"It's a great opportunity for different towns and different places to see college football and you know like powerhouse college football," said a fan who called himself Big Country.

For Charlotte resident Eric Combs, the rare neutral site game is an opportunity for him to cheer on his favorite team. Combs has been a fan of the Mountaineers since he was a child.

"It's a treat for us because Morgantown is six and a half hours away so we don't get to travel up and see any of the games that often," explained Combs.

"We are proud to host thousands of Mountaineer and Volunteer fans in Charlotte while also showcasing the event on a national stage," said Charlotte Sports Foundation Board Chairman Johnny Harris.

Restaurants and businesses are also likely to get an added boost from extra crowds in town for the game. Managers at the bar Draught anticipated many fans coming by to tailgate.

"It brings a new group of people to the city to experience what we have to offer and really take in how great of a city this place is," said Jon Blackman, the assistant general manager at Draught.

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