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North Carolina has sports venues ranging from modern big-city facilities to storied small-town fields – competitive sports have had a long record of making history on the Tar Heel state’s courts, fields, and stadiums.
In Charlotte, Bank of America Stadium is the home field for the NFL’s Panthers and can seat nearly 74,000 screaming fans. The North Carolina Tar Heels play at Kenan Memorial Stadium, while nearby the NC State Wolfpack play at Carter-Finley Stadium. The Elon Phoenix play football and soccer at Rhodes Stadium, while in Boone, the Appalachian State Mountaineers play football amid mountains at Kidd Brewer Stadium.
The state’s biggest arena is the Greensboro Coliseum – it’s the home of the UNC-Greensboro Spartans and the frequent host of Atlantic Coast Conference basketball tournaments. The Tar Heels regularly bring down the house at the Dean Smith Center in Chapel Hill, which can seat nearly 22,000, while the Spectrum Center in Charlotte is where the Hornets play. In Raleigh, the NC State Wolfpack and the Carolina Hurricanes share PNC Arena, and in Durham, the Duke Blue Devils rule the Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Here for racing action? The Charlotte Motor Speedway is an oval track with a capacity of 170,000.
NewBridge Bank Park
Opened in 2005, Yadkin Bank Park is a minor league baseball stadium located in the city of Greensboro in North Carolina’s Piedmont region. The ballpark serves as the home field to the Greensboro Grasshoppers, the Class A farm team of the Miami Marlins.
Five County Stadium
Opened in 1991, Five County Stadium is a minor league baseball stadium located in Zebulon in North Carolina’s Piedmont region – just outside of Raleigh. The ballpark serves as the home field to the Carolina Mudcats of the A-Advanced Carolina League.
Located in Winston-Salem, BB&T Ballpark is a 5,500-seat ballpark, home of the Winston-Salem Dash MiLB baseball team. The state-of-the-art stadium was opened in 2010 and has been delighting baseball fans in the Piedmont region ever since.
Some of the perks at BB&T Ballpark include great concessions and restaurants, including Honky Tonk Smokehouse and Foothills Brewery supplied beer garden. During the Dash season, there are plenty of events and fun-filled events held at BB&T as well, including Free Movie Night and much more.
Burlington Athletic Stadium
Adjacent to Fairchild Park, in the heart of Burlington, you'll discover the Burlington Athletic Stadium, home of the Burlington Royals. As the Rookie-level minor league affiliate of the Kansas City Royals, the Burlington Royals provide a wealth of entertainment for the local baseball fans – drive in from nearby Greensboro and check out a game.
Seating 3,500 fans, the Burlington Athletic Stadium was originally built in Danville, VA and subsequently dismantled and reconstructed in Burlington in 1958. Burlington Athletic Field is well known for hosting one of the longest minor league games in history, the 27-inning behemoth between the Bluefield Orioles and the Burlington Indians in 1988.
CMC Northeast Stadium
Located in the city of Kannapolis – just a short drive north of Charlotte – CMC Northeast Stadium is a professional-sized baseball stadium. The stadium is home to the Kannapolis Intimidators, the MiLB affiliate to the Chicago White Sox of Major League Baseball. The stadium was opened in 1994 and has served as the home field advantage to the Intimidators since. Some of the perks include a state-of-the-art scoreboard in centerfield, a large picnic shelter, Intimidation Station, and the Pit Stop Playground.
Durham Bulls Athletic Park
Opened in 1995, Durham Bulls Athletic Park is a minor league baseball stadium set in the city of Durham in North Carolina’s Piedmont region. Home field to the Durham Balls, the AAA affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays, the park comfortably seats 10,000 fans on game day.
The ballpark is also known as a collegiate ballpark, serving as home field for the Duke Blue Devils and North Carolina Central Eagles. Be on the look out for the Durham Bull sign, modeled after a prop from the movie "Bull Durham."
L. P. Frans Stadium
Home of the Hickory Crawdads, L.P. Frans Stadium is a ballpark located in Hickory in the Piedmont Region of western North Carolina. Constructed in 1993, the stadium can seat over 5,000 baseball fans.
Set along Interstate 40, L. P. Frans Stadium is owned and operated by Hickory Baseball, Inc. In addition to hosting the minor league Crawdads baseball team since 1993, the stadium is also the home field of the Catawba Valley Stars of the Great South League.
In western North Carolina, travel to Asheville and experience the fun and excitement of minor league baseball. You'll want to visit McCormick Field, home of the Asheville Tourists.
The Class-A minor league affiliate of the Colorado Rockies, the Tourists compete in the Class A South Atlantic League and area a major fan-favorite of local baseball fans in the Appalachian Mountains of western NC.
Opened in 1924 and renovated in 1959, and then again in 1992, McCormick Field seats 4,000 fans, and is a short, scenic drive from Hendersonville, set to the south. Affiliated with the Rockies since 1994, the Tourists play games from April through September.
When you make your way into Asheville and head for a Tourists game, be sure to plan your visit accordingly – you can check out the Oskar Blues Party Pavilion or sit in the Ingles Picnic Area.
Bank of America Stadium
This fall, head for Charlotte and check out the exciting NFL action of the Carolina Panthers. You'll want to make plans for a visit to Bank of America Stadium, the home of Panthers football.
Drive in from Gastonia or Huntersville and enjoy the hard hits and big plays of a Panthers game. Bank of America Stadium is near downtown Charlotte, just off I-277 and and northwest of the Charlotte Convention Center.
Built in 1996, Bank of America Stadium was originally known as Ericsson Stadium up until 2004. With a max seating capacity of 73,778, Bank of America Stadium is seemingly alive with movement and life come game day.
On your next fall trip into Charlotte and the Piedmont region, make time take in a game – the NFL season kicks off in September and finishes up in early February with the Super Bowl.
In North Carolina, make your way east to the coast and head for Wilmington. A charming and pleasant coastal city, Wilmington is not far from Leland and is a sterling choice for your next visit. Once in Wilmington, keep your eyes and ears open for exciting soccer action. Just head for Legion Stadium on your spring or summer visit to Wilmington and check out the Wilmington Hammerheads play a match.
Opened in the 1930s, Legion Stadium seats nearly 6,000 fans and is only one aspect of the Legion Sports Complex. The Hammerheads, a member of the USL Professional division, kick off their season in April and play matches through August. You'll be surrounded by much to see and do while you visit the coast and Wilmington – make visiting Legion Stadium a part of the agenda.
Opened in 1999, PNC Arena is a multipurpose facility located in Raleigh. Home to the Carolina Hurricanes of the NHL, and the North Carolina State University Wolfpack basketball, PNC Arena is a hub of sports activity in Raleigh and the Piedmont region of NC.
Originally named the Raleigh Entertainment & Sports Arena from 1999-2002, then the RBC Center up until 2012, the PNC Arena makes for a great sports venue. Hockey fans make frequent trips to PNC Arena.
If you're planning a visit to Raleigh or nearby cities like Garner and Cary, plan your Carolina Hurricanes game accordingly. The NC State Wolfpack basketball season tips off in early November and finishes up in March – draw up your travel plans around those times and enjoy exciting college basketball.
Time Warner Cable Arena
When the NBA season in Charlotte is in full effect, head for the Time Warner Cable Arena and check out a Charlotte Bobcats game. Opened in 2005, Time Warner Cable Arena was originally known as the Charlotte Bobcats Arena up until 2008, and has been Time Warner Cable Arena ever since.
Found in the heart of downtown Charlotte, Time Warner Cable Arena is, in fact, the home of the Charlotte Bobcats, but it also hosts a wide range of events throughout the year – live music, staged performances, and even the circus.
When you're visiting the Piedmont region and find yourself in Charlotte, your fall, winter, or spring visit should be met with some Bobcats basketball. The NBA season tips off in October and plays through May of the following year.
If basketball isn't your jam, Time Warner Cable Arena can expand seating from around 19,000 (for basketball games) to nearly 21,000 for staged events, like concerts and pro wrestling.
WakeMed Soccer Park
First opened in 2002, WakeMed Soccer Park is a 10,000 seat soccer venue. The home of the Carolina RailHawks of the NASL, and the North Carolina State University Wolfpack soccer teams, WakeMed Soccer Park is found in Cary, a charming city just west of Raleigh. Originally, WakeMed Soccer Park had only 7,000 seats – it expanded to 10,000 in 2011.
WakeMed Soccer Park features a full-sized cross country track along with the soccer grounds. It's hosted the ACC Soccer Championships, and been the training facility for the US Men's National Team on more than one occasion. Make the drive in from nearby Garner and take in a soccer match – the RailHawks play from February through early November.