We’ve been talking about neighborhoods lately – specifically neighborhoods in the Charlotte area. Neighborhoods are where birds of a feather flock together, and there are few forces more galvanizing than the power of fervent fans. So, in today’s blog, we’ll skip right to the heart of the matte – the sports teams that you and your neighbors will be cheering for. If you’re new to the area, let the following be a lesson to you. If you’ve lived here a while, I’m betting you’ll find your favorites below.
Charlotte is home to a number of professional and collegiate sports teams. The two teams that compete at the major league level are the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League (NFL) and the Charlotte Bobcats of the National Basketball Association (NBA). The Panthers play in Bank of America Stadium, located in Uptown.
In the Minors
Charlotte is also hosts quite a few minor league teams – with more affordable ticket prices and their own brand of family and fan fun. Among the most notable are the Charlotte Knights (baseball), the Charlotte Checkers (ice hockey), the Charlotte Eagles and Lady Eagles (soccer), and the Carolina Speed (football). Additionally, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte 49ers compete in NCAA Division I.
Into the Wild!
And then there’s Charlotte’s US National Whitewater Center, located in west Charlotte. It was created and opened for the general public in late summer of 2006. Many whitewater teams from around the world are scheduled to train here. The Center also has 17 miles (27 km) of trails for hikers and bikers at the park.
Round and Round
Charlotte is the hub of stock car racing, with major races being held at nearby Lowe’s Motor Speedway, considered by most fans and participants in the sport to be NASCAR’s “home track.” A vast majority of NASCAR teams and race shops are located within 40 miles (64 km) of Charlotte, and most NASCAR drivers maintain a residence in or near the city. Seventy-three percent of American motorsports employees are based within two hours of downtown Charlotte, which is also home to the NASCAR Hall of Fame!
I posed this football trivia question in my previous blog:
“Can you name an Eagle from Philadelphia, a Falcon from Atlanta, a Bear from Chicago and a Panther from Charlotte, North Carolina that moved to Green Bay, Wisconsin to become members of the Green Bay Packers and win a Super Bowl? Here are my answers:
Former Eagle Reggie White and former Falcon Brett Favre both became Packers and led the team to victory in Super Bowl XXXI. Former Bear Jim McMahon was the back-up quarterback to Favre on that championship team but didn’t play in the Super Bowl.
The Panther that became a Packer was linebacker Kevin Greene, but as a coach not a player. Named All-Pro and NFC Linebacker of the Year twice with the Panthers (1996 and 1998), Greene won his first championship ring as the Packers outside linebackers coach when they won Super Bowl XLV last year. And the Packer that became a Panther was the late, great Pro Football Hall-Of-Fame linebacker Reggie White. White came out of a one-year retirement and appeared in all sixteen games for the Panthers in 2000 and then retired again at the end of the season.
Happy Valentine’s Day!