Home to the Carolina Panthers, Charlotte Hornets and other major sports teams, Charlotte, North Carolina is more than equipped – and more than excited – to host a range of sporting events from high-profile championships to youth tournaments. The 15th-largest city in America has welcomed a range of big games from the CIAA Basketball Tournament to the CONCACAF Gold Cup. This city brings two sides to the travel experience: Accommodations for the competition people are traveling to be a part of, as well as unique experiences and adventures for before and after game times. That’s how lasting memories are made. Here are six ways the Queen City is set up for an unforgettable sports travel experience.
The city is packed with top-tier sports facilities
Players and fans will get a rush of energy when they step into the open-air, natural-grass Bank of America Stadium with 75,525 open seats, or under the dome of the Bojangles Coliseum at the upgraded Bojangles Entertainment Complex, featuring LED sports lights and about 8,600 seats. Then there’s the Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center holding a 50-meter competition pool, the Mecklenburg County Sportsplex at Matthews with 11 multi-use and permanently lit fields, as well as other well-equipped Mecklenburg County Parks and Recreation facilities. This is just the top of the list for local indoor sports complexes and pro stadiums.
Transportation is a breeze whether you’re en route or already here
No matter which sports venue you’re heading to, Charlotte destinations are easy to reach by car. Both I-77 and I-85 cut through the city, which is central to the Southeast region. Once you’re here, Uptown is easy to navigate with its walkable grid cityscape and all of Charlotte is a convenient ride away via ride-share services like Lyft and the LYNX Blue Line light rail with 26 stations.
Affordable accommodations are everywhere
A comfortable, good night’s sleep near fun shopping and dining options is crucial for every player and fan needing to keep their energy levels high for game time and all the activities to come after. Choose from dozens of reasonably priced hotel brands from Uptown to Ballantyne. For starters, Ballantyne has Staybridge Suites, SouthPark has Hampton Inn & Suites, and Uptown has Fairfield Inn & Suites.
Safety protocols have been implemented and are constantly updated
The Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority (CRVA) is committed to the health and safety of every guest, overseeing the use of needlepoint bipolar ionization (NPBI) and thermal cameras at flexible indoor venues like the Charlotte Convention Center. Plus, partner sports venues have improved their own safety policies, like Bank of America Stadium’s 2020 Fan Policies that reduce crowding and contact, as well as their new air quality monitoring solutions. Certain venues, like Spectrum Center, have received their Global Biorisk Advisory Council’s (GBAC) STAR Facility Accreditation, indicating that this facility has committed to upholding a system of cleaning, disinfection and infectious disease prevention focused on 20 key elements, such as emergency preparedness and response.
Diversity and artistic culture abound
Before and after their event, visitors can discover free-to-see flourishes of art around Uptown like the Firebird outside the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art and the Sculptures at Independence Square – vibrant destinations to add to a walking tour. They can also easily support minority-owned businesses, starting with breakfast at Black-owned eateries like The Yolk Uptown (Mmm, sweet potato waffles).
Outdoor recreation is easy to access
When they’re not competing or cheering, guests of Charlotte can explore green spaces from Romare Bearden Park Uptown, to the expansive greenway system all around the city, to golfing greens – test your swing at Topgolf Charlotte. The Charlotte Trail Guide has key paths to journey along as well – start with the Adventure Trail, complete with biking, hiking and climbing at the U.S. National Whitewater Center. And don’t miss the eating, sipping and shopping to be done along the way.
Learn more about planning your next sporting event in Charlotte here.