Sports in Charlotte, NC | Entertainment for Everyone
Charlotte is home to several sports teams including the National Basketball Association’s Charlotte Hornets, the National Football League’s Carolina Panthers, the Charlotte Checkers for minor league hockey, the Charlotte Hounds for Major League Lacrosse and the Charlotte Knights for minor league baseball. In other words, you’d be hard-pressed to find a time of year when you can’t watch live sports in Charlotte.
Carolina Panthers – NFL
Perhaps Charlotte’s most notable sports team is the Carolina Panthers with their home at the Bank of America Stadium in Uptown, Charlotte. The Carolina Panthers’ road to the NFL started in 1987 courtesy of Jerry Richardson’s bid for and NFL expansion franchise. However, it wasn’t until 1995 that the Panthers officially competed in the NFL.
In 1996, after playing their first season in Clemson, SC, the Panther’s stadium, was opened in Uptown, Charlotte. The stadium is today known as Bank of America Stadium and has a seating capacity of just over 73,500 fans. Bank of America Stadium, although primarily serving the Carolina Panthers, has served as a venue for other events including the ACC Championship from 2010 – 2013 and in 2014 was selected to host the Championship until at least 2019.
The Carolina Panthers and the Bank of America Stadium have served as a great highlight and hub for Charlotte sports fans. Game day is a city-wide celebration and fan attendance has been among the highest in the NFL in recent years.
Charlotte Hornets – NBA
The Charlotte Hornets are residents of the Time Warner Cable Arena located in Uptown, Charlotte. The Hornets were first introduced as an expansion team in 1988 but moved to New Orleans after the 2001-2002 season to become the New Orleans Hornets. It wasn’t until 2004 that a new expansion team was introduced to Charlotte known as the Charlotte Bobcats; owned by Michael Jordan.
For several years veteran Charlotte Hornets fans yearned to have The Hornets branding back and continually showed their pride at Bobcat’s games for the original team name and branding. For the 2013-2014 season the then New Orleans Hornets relinquished their Hornets name to become the New Orleans Pelicans freeing up the Hornets name for those veteran Charlotte Hornets fans. In May of 2014 the Bobcats changed their name officially back to the Charlotte Hornets and have been rebranded for the 2014-2015 season.
Charlotte Knights – Triple-A Baseball
The Charlotte Knights are a AAA minor league baseball team affiliated with the Chicago White Sox. The Charlotte Knights by name have been around since 1989 and had actually played just over the North Carolina border in Fort Mill, South Carolina since 1990. With attendance struggling to maintain a level suitable to support the team it was decided that it was time to bring the Knight back to Uptown, Charlotte. Today The Charlotte Knights are located just one block from Bank of America Stadium and across the street from Uptown’s Romare Bearden Park in their very own BB&T Ballpark which was finalized in time for the 2014 season.
Charlotte Hounds – Major League Lacrosse
With their home stadium at the American Legion Memorial Stadium on 7th Street and Kings Drive in the Elizabeth neighborhood, The Charlotte Hounds are Charlotte’s very own Major League Lacrosse team. The Charlotte Hounds joined Major League Lacrosse in 2011 in time for the 2012 season as part of the league’s effort to reach 16 teams by 2020. The Major League Lacrosse season runs from late April through August making a Charlotte Hounds game a perfect summer time event in Charlotte.
Charlotte Checkers – Minor-league Hockey
The Charlotte Checkers is Charlotte’s minor-league professional ice hockey team playing at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Uptown, Charlotte. The modern-day Checkers team was first introduced to Charlotte for the 2010-11 season as an American Hockey League affiliate of the Carolina Hurricanes NHL team. The regular season for the Checkers typically runs October through April with games serving as exciting indoor entertainment in the heart of Center City.