Professional sports teams often hold their respective cities hostage by threatening to move if the city does not build new arenas or stadiums. Charlotte is no different. The pro basketball team, the Hornets are trying to get a new arena built in Uptown.
Personally, I think that would be great, but I'm not willing to finance a private organizations building project with public money. Besides, I'm an LA Lakers fan!!
**UPDATE: 5/15/02 The Charlotte Hornets are officially moving to New Orleans. The city was unwilling to meet the demands of the team's ownership. I have no problem with getting rid of them, but if the city tries to get another team to replace them it will make us look pretty bad. Let's say next year the city makes attempts to attract a new team. Well, the only way to do it will be to build a new arena. If we build a new arena to attract a new team, people will say, 'why didn't you just build it for the Hornets?' Good point.
Charlotte is also home to the NFL franchise, the Carolina Panthers.
Go check out a Charlotte Eagles game. The Eagles are a professional soccer team in the A League (which is one notch below MLS, but great stuff all the same!). These guys play hard and play well so go support them. I took this shot at a recent exhibition match versus their MLS Club, the Colorado Rapids (Valderama plays for them!).
In many minds, the North Carolina mountains were the birthplace of stock car racing. Junior Johnson, one of the early National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) champions, made no attempts to hide the fact that his earliest fast driving might have involved "revenooers" (government agents charged with controlling the production and distribution of illegal, non-tax paid alcoholic beverages) chasing him through the hills of Western North Carolina. They've come a long way in 60 years. Lowe's (formerly Charlotte) Motor Speedway was the first of Nascar's superspeedways and is the only one to feature three weekends each year of racing by NASCAR's elite drivers (currently called the Sprint Cup). For about 10 days in May and another week in October, Charlotte becomes the mecca of racing fans, even if it does have to share that last weekend in May (Memorial Day Weekend) with Indianapolis. From celebrations which literally shut down center city Charlotte to testing, time trials, and the big races themselves, Charlotte seems to revolve around speed for those three weeks.
When you go to the speedway you got to go to ALL the race car shops. They're free to get in and you can get a great map (will cost a few dollars but well worth it) at the front entrance gift shop at the Lowes Speedway. There were other maps out there but this map was very good. Great detail on directions never got lost once. We took our big motor coach and was able to get around just fine with it. The Walmart close to the track had great souviners at a good price! We spent a long day visiting shops and seeing the country side as well. We took some new friends we had met at the camp grounds with us, we give this day trip 4 thumbs up! Here's a web site for the area race shop I don't know if they're all listed, get the map at Lowes Motor Speedway! Race Shops and Garages
The Carolina Panthers play in Bank of America Stadium in downtown Charlotte. This is a nice, new stadium with great views and probably the best selection of beer I have ever seen at a professional sports venue. They also had a huge restaurant selection from local JRR's barbecue to Wendy's, Subway, and Dominoes.
Face value for our pre-season tickets was $74 each, but we paid $50 apiece on the street just before game time.
While many come to Charlotte just for the NASCAR races, many are not fans. Even if you aren't, visitng Lowe's Motor Speedway is worth it, even if only to say you've been there. The speedway is a sprawling, gargantuan structure. Even if you're not impressed, your friends will wonder what it was that you saw.
This is like most racing games, only a lot more realistic. You actually get in a car and three connected TV screens show you the track. The tracks are simulations of the real tracks, and because Concord Mills is directly across I-85 from Lowe's Motorspeedway, you can race a track you've just seen. They are identical.
In a year filled with openings of museums, theaters, etc. in Charlotte, the latest, and so far largest, new tourist attraction to open in 2010 is the NASCAR Hall of Fame which opened on the 11th of May. (NASCAR is the abbreviation for the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, Inc. which is the group which originated stock car automobile racing on oval tracks in the southeastern United States in the mid-20th Century.)
From the down-home history of stock car racing to the legendary drivers and their race cars, the Hall is packed with everything that’s great about NASCAR®. The sights and sounds throughout the spectacular NASCAR Hall of Fame should appeal to everyone who likes cars, racing, or 20th Century history of the Old South. With amazing artifacts, interactive exhibits, simulator rides, and the ever-changing events at the High Octane Theater, you’ll always encounter something new at the Hall. Plus, you can grab a bite to eat in the NASCAR Hall of Fame Café or at the Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant. You also can take home a souvenir from the gift shop to help you remember it all.
The Hall is open seven days a week, 362 days a year, closed only on Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. The hours are 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., Monday - Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday.
Do you absolutely hate the traffic where you live? Is the commute the worst part of your job? Do you wish that you could just once drive as fast as you want? Get ready to drive a real NASCAR race car with a three-hour NASCAR Drive Experience. Your adventure includes one-on-one training and radio communications during your five-minute racing session at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Pull into the pit and get a graduate certificate with your top speed, a racing license, and souvenir photo. You can also sit shotgun for the Ride Along NASCAR Experience, where you'll whip through three laps of pure, heart-pounding speed at 170 mph.
The cost is $359 for the full experience or $154 for the ride along.
I understand that this opportunity is alsc available at some other NASCAR tracks but I do not know which ones.
Having been born and raised in California. The Bible Belt is a bit of a "culture shock" to me.
The local YMCA I went to in Ballantyne was pretty fully equipped.
Somewhat of a surprise were the various religious quotes on the walls.
Religion is obviously a big part of life in the South.
Gym was very family oriented - with great child minding.
Quite a contrast to the LA gyms I used to frequent.
America is truly a very diverse place.
If you like to swing dance, the swingcat society has a great website telling about events in Charlotte. They have a free lesson with Jack Kelly and Tommi Swinson at open Door Studios. Charlotte Swing Dance Society has monthly dances. Swing friendlly bands are listed on the website and other swing dance events.