Interesting Facts

A Sports Lover’s Guide to North Carolina: Must-See Venues and Events

Thanks to its vibrant sports scene and many professional and college teams, North Carolina is a haven for sports fans. The diverse sports environment, combined with the state’s position as the ninth most visited state for tourism, owes much to the allure of these sporting events.

With the recent legalization of sports betting, North Carolina is set to see an uptick in sports interest and tourism. It will enhance the overall experience for fans and visitors and promise more excitement and engagement around every corner.

Bank of America Stadium

Since its inauguration in 1996, Bank of America Stadium has established itself as a cornerstone of North Carolina’s sports culture. It is a 74,867-seat fortress that not only serves as the home for the Carolina Panthers (NFL) and Charlotte FC (MLS) but also hosts the annual Duke’s Mayo Bowl, showcasing teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and either the Southeastern Conference (SEC) or the Big Ten Conference.

The venue’s significance is further underscored by its selection to continue hosting the ACC Championship Game through at least the 2030 season​​.

Architecturally, the stadium is renowned for its classic American design, incorporating elements reflecting the team’s colors and ethos. Notably, it features large bronze panther statues named Indomitable Spirit at its entrances, embodying the spirit of the teams it hosts. These statues, unique in the NFL for their size and symbolic value, alongside the stadium’s light domes and the honoring of significant figures in Panthers’ history through statues and memorial plaques, contribute to a distinctive game-day atmosphere​​​​.

Charlotte Motor Speedway

Charlotte Motor Speedway, located in Concord, North Carolina, is a premier destination for motorsports enthusiasts. Known for its 1.5-mile quad-oval track, this venue hosts various racing series, including NASCAR, IndyCar, and the IMSA SportsCar Championship.

With a capacity of 95,000, the Speedway features a range of amenities, such as a Speedway Club, condos, and a seven-story tower. Its complex also includes adjacent tracks and a drag strip, making it a comprehensive motorsports facility.

Speedway’s history is rich and marked by groundbreaking innovations and events that have become staples in the NASCAR schedule. Its track configurations, including the 2.280-mile “Roval,” offer diverse racing experiences for fans and competitors.

PNC Arena

PNC Arena, located in Raleigh, North Carolina, opened its doors in October 1999. As a venue, it hosts the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes and N.C. State’s men’s basketball team. This 19,700-seat arena is a hub for a broad spectrum of major sports, concerts, and events, drawing over 1.5 million guests annually to more than 150 events.


Its prime location is adjacent to Carter-Finley Stadium and the North Carolina State Fairgrounds. Its amenities include over 8,000 parking spaces, numerous concession stands, and luxury suites, making it a cornerstone of entertainment in the state​​.

The upcoming launch of sports betting platforms provides an opportunity for fans to place bets on Carolina Hurricanes games while watching live in PNC Arena. Sports betting platforms have launched various promotions, such as the Bet365 bonus code, to attract new users.

ACC Basketball Tournament

The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Basketball Tournament is a highlight of the sports calendar in North Carolina. This prestigious event brings together top college teams from across the ACC to compete for the championship title. The event is held in March, the tournament has been a staple of college basketball, showcasing future NBA stars and intense rivalries.

Fans are treated to high-quality basketball, with games often coming down to the wire, making it a can’t-miss event for basketball enthusiasts.

Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway

The Coca-Cola 600, hosted at the iconic Charlotte Motor Speedway, is a cornerstone event for NASCAR fans. Held annually during Memorial Day weekend, this event is the longest race in the NASCAR Cup Series and one of the most challenging due to its duration and the varying track conditions as day turns to night.

The Speedway itself is a marvel, providing a thrilling backdrop for the high-speed action on the track. With activities and entertainment for all ages, the Coca-Cola 600 weekend is a speed festival showing motorsports’ enduring popularity in North Carolina.

The Belk Bowl

The Belk Bowl, held at the Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, has become a celebrated post-season college football event. Featuring teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and the Southeastern Conference (SEC), the bowl game showcases young talent and collegiate football at its best. Over the years, it has produced memorable moments and exciting matchups, drawing fans who enjoy the spirited competition and camaraderie that college football embodies.


The game highlights the athletic achievements of the participating teams and contributes significantly to the local economy, with fans flocking to Charlotte to partake in the festivities.


North Carolina’s sports landscape, rich with tradition and brimming with excitement, offers something for every sports enthusiast. From the architectural marvel and football haven of Bank of America Stadium, through the adrenaline-filled lanes of Charlotte Motor Speedway, to the energetic cheers filling PNC Arena, the state stands as a testament to sports’ unifying power.

Events like the ACC Basketball Tournament and the Coca-Cola 600 further showcase North Carolina’s deep-rooted passion for sports, drawing fans nationwide

Brantley Jackson, dad and writer at 'Not in the Kitchen Anymore' is well-known in the parenting world. He writes about his experiences of raising children and provides advice to other fathers. His articles are widely praised for being real and relatable. As well as being an author, he is a full-time dad and loves spending time with his family. His devotion to his kids and love of writing drives him to motivate others.