Charlotte, NC: Panthers, Hornets, NASCAR and More Make Region a Sports Mecca
Discover Charlotte USA's thriving sports environment, with top professional and college teams like the Carolina Panthers, NASCAR’s national headquarters, world-class venues and state-of the art training facilities generating billions in economic impact and enhancing the region's quality of life.
Getting your game on in Charlotte USA couldn’t be easier, as the region holds the distinction of being one of the country’s most vibrant sports destinations. Professional sports in the region alone offer four seasons full of action. The NFL’s Carolina Panthers brought the NFC Championship home in 2016, and have sold out every home game for more than a decade. The NBA’s Charlotte Hornets create a special buzz with their up-tempo game and upbeat family atmosphere. Fans of America’s favorite pastime can catch a baseball game at the spectacular uptown BB&T Ballpark featuring the Charlotte Knights, the AAA farm club of the Chicago White Sox.
A shining jewel in Charlotte USA’s crown is the Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center (MCAC). A world-class natatorium, the facility holds a 50-meter competition pool, 25-yard therapeutic pool and a fitness center. MCAC is host to SwimMAC Carolina, one of the nation’s leading junior, collegiate and Olympic training programs with women’s Olympic coach David Marsh serving as CEO and director of coaching.
“Everything we do is focused on fitness, safety, health and wellness,” says Matthew Jakubowski, MCAC supervisor. “We are a tremendous uptown facility open seven days a week, offering everything from swim lessons for toddlers and adults to deep-water aerobics and a variety of water fitness programming. With our location adjacent to the greenway, we see many triathlete enthusiasts take advantage of run, bike, and swim opportunities.”
Charlotte USA’s telegenic venues and accommodating infrastructure have earned national recognition and honored host status for numerous prestigious major sporting events. On tap for 2017 is one of professional golf’s most exciting major tournaments, the PGA Championship, which will be played at the prestigious Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte. Perennial host to the Wells Fargo Championship, the Quail Hollow Club has years of experience providing VIP treatment to the players, tournament guests and media. Bank of America Stadium, a jewel in Charlotte’s uptown, seats more than 73,000 spectators. In addition to hosting the Carolina Panthers, the stadium is home to the annual Belk Bowl, a college football matchup featuring SEC and ACC conference champions. BOA stadium has also held several international soccer matches, with plans for additional events.
Charlotte USA is indisputably NASCAR country, with more than 90 percent of all NASCAR teams headquartered within 50 miles of uptown Charlotte. Charlotte Motor Speedway is one of the most exciting tracks in the country, comfortably holding 94,000 fans. Home to annual races, the Bank of America 500 and the Coca-Cola 600, Charlotte Motor Speedway hosts Sprint Cup, XFINITY and Camping World Truck Series events. The complex also delivers the power and excitement of four-wide racing at its zMAX Dragway, home of the only 4X racing event on the NHRA schedule.
NASCAR’s economic impact is felt throughout Charlotte USA, as more than 700 businesses in the region directly support the motorsports industry, generating more than $6 billion annually. NASCAR’s footprint has made the region a hub for motor-sports-related media and television production. Emmy award winning media, marketing and entertainment firm NASCAR Productions calls Charlotte USA home. ESPN has a presence here, as does Raycom Media.
Pro hockey fans thrill to the action locally, following the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers. The Charlotte Hounds give MLL lacrosse fans plenty to cheer about. Soccer fans cheer on the USL’s Charlotte Independence, and women’s professional tennis brings top players to Charlotte annually with the Mr. Rogers Windows Charlotte Clay Classic, a USTA Pro Circuit event.
College athletics has an enormous presence, the region serving as home to more than three dozen institutions of higher learning. The 12-member Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) makes Charlotte its headquarters and annually hosts its widely attended conference basketball championship tournament there.
“This city has so much richness and opportunity for growth,” says Jacqie McWilliams, CIAA commissioner. “Seeing the spirit of Charlotte confirms why we live here, why our offices are here, and why the tournament has done well here.”
A shining jewel in Charlotte USA’s crown is the Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center. A world- class natatorium, the facility holds a 50-meter competition pool, 25-yard therapeutic pool and a fitness center. MCAC is host to SwimMAC Carolina, one of the nation’s leading junior, collegiate and Olympic training programs with Women’s Olympic Coach David Marsh serving as CEO and director of coaching.
“Everything we do is focused on fitness, safety, health and wellness” Matthew Jakubowski, MCAC supervisor, says. “We are a tremendous uptown facility open seven days a week offering everything from swim lessons for toddlers and adults to deep-water aerobics and a variety of water fitness programming. With our location adjacent to the greenway, we see many triathlete enthusiasts take advantage of run, bike, and swim opportunities.”
With the multitude of sporting and recreation opportunities available in Charlotte USA, it’s easy to find your game.