Charlotte, NC Sports Teams & Events

 Panther Stadium

 

Sporting events always draw big crowds in the Charlotte area.

  FOOTBALL The Carolina Panthers (704-358-7800, www.panthers.com) took to the field as an NFL expansion team in 1995 and rose to a magical season in 2004, making their first-ever Super Bowl appearance against the New England Patriots. Their home, the natural-grass Bank of America Stadium, is located in Third Ward Uptown. BASKETBALL The NBA returned to Charlotte in 2004 thanks to Black Entertainment Television founder Robert Johnson. The Charlotte Bobcats (704-262-2287; www.nba.com/bobcats) play in the new Charlotte Arena in Uptown. The Charlotte area is also home to wonderful ACC teams (www.theacc.com) such as North Carolina, Duke, Clemson, North Carolina State & Wake Forest. BASEBALL The Charlotte Knights (704-364-6637, www.charlotteknights.com), a farm club for the Chicago White Sox, have played baseball in the Charlotte area for more than 100 years. They currently play at Knights Stadium in Fort Mill but may move closer to the city soon. HOCKEY On the ice, the Charlotte Checkers (704-342-4423,  www.gocheckers.com) are the East Coast Hockey League affiliates of the New York Rangers and the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack. The team recently moved to the Charlotte Arena. SOCCER For soccer fans there are the Charlotte Eagles, a professional team in the second division of the United Soccer Leagues, and the Lady Eagles, who play in the Atlantic division of the USL’s W league (704-841-8644, www.charlotteeagles.com). The season runs from April to August. GOLF In May 2003, Wachovia first sponsored the PGA tour to Charlotte at Quail Hollow Country Club , which has welcomed by such golfing greats as Tiger Woods and Phil Mickleson. It began as the Wachovia Championship but is now know as the Quail Hollow Championship. (800-945-0777, www.quailhollowchampionship.com). NASCAR

NASCAR races roar at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, including the Coca-Cola 600 and the Sprint All-Star Challenge in May and the UAW-GM Quality 500 in October (704-455-3200, www.lowesmotorspeedway.com). Racing excitement spills from the speedway into uptown Charlotte during Speed Week each May. You can enjoy a parade, fireworks, entertainment, food and special events leading up to the races.

FISHING The Charlotte Regional Sports Commission (704-332-7717, www.charlottesports.org) sponsors other sporting events in the Charlotte Area, like the Citgo Bassmaster Classic at Lake Norman. The commission also works to bring in sports organizations and teams, which contribute millions to the local economy and enhance the area’s overall quality of life.  OTHER SPORTING EVENTS Other big sporting events include the Charlotte Run for Peace and 10K (www.charlotterunforpeace.com) in January and the Queens Cup Steeplechase in Mineral Springs in Union County (704-843-7070, www.queenscup.org) in April. In addition, there’s the Charlotte Ultraswim in June (704-846-5335, www.justswimmac.org/ultraswim). The Continental Tire Bowl brought the excitement for a college football bowl game to the Carolinas and has recently been changed to the Meineke Car Care Bowl. Played at Bank of America Stadium and featuring the ACC and Big East Conference, the game draws a crowd of more than 70,000. HOT AIR BALLOONS In September, the sky’s the limit for the National Hot Air Balloon Rally (704-873-2892, www.statesvillechamber.org) near Statesville.                                                                                                                                                             704-896-5141 Office                                                        www.LeeAnnMiller.com                                                            Allen Tate Company

Charlotte Area Shopping Centers

Ayrsley     NC 49 at I-485     Charlotte, NC  28273     704-643-4148     www.ayrsley.com     Baxter Town Center & Village Shops    1030 Assembly Drive    Fort Mill, SC 29708    877-570-4663    www.villageofbaxter.com    Birkdale Village    8712 Townley Road    Huntersville, NC 28078    704-895-8744    www.birkdalevillage.net    Carolina Place Mall    11025 Carolina Place Parkway    Pineville, NC 28134    704-543-9300    www.carolinaplace.com    Concord Mills    8111 Concord Mills Boulevard    Concord, NC 28207    704-979-5000    www.concordmills.com      Hickory Furniture Mart     2220 Hwy 70 SE    Hickory, NC 28602    800-462-6278   www.hickoryfurniture.com  Monroe Mall    2115 W. Roosevelt Boulevard    Monroe, NC 28110    704-289-6547 www.shopmonroemall.com    Northlake Mall    6801 Northlake Mall Drive     Charlotte, NC 28216     704-921-2005     www.shopnorthlake.com    Phillips Place                      Cameron Valley Parkway at     Fariview Rd    Charlotte, NC 28210 www.phillipsplace.com       Prime Outlets-Gaffney    1 Factory Shops Boulevard    Gaffney, SC 29341    888-545-7194    www.primeoutlets.com   Rock Hill Galleria    2301 Dave Lyle Boulevard    Rock Hill, SC 29730    803-324-1711    www.rockhillgalleria.com    South Park Mall    4400 Sharon Road    Charlotte, NC 28211    704-364-4411    www.southpark.com    Shoppes at University Place     8929 J.M. Keynes Drive    Charlotte, NC 28262    704-549-4811   www.shoppesatuniversityplace.com Specialty Shops on the Park    Morrison Boulevard at    Roxborough Rd    Charlotte, NC     Westfield Eastridge Mall    246 N. New Hope Road    Gastonia, NC 28054    704-867-1847    www.westfield.com/eastridge     704-896-5141 Office   Allen Tate Company  www.LeeAnnMiller.com

Shopping Around Charlotte

Love to shop? You will find yourself at home in Charlotte. With everything from upscale to antique to bargain shopping, Charlotte is continuously expanding its retail space and drawing shoppers from across the region. Whether you’re looking for a Louis Vuitton handbag, unique Victorian jewelry or just a good deal on a new suit, Charlotte has what you’re looking for. The most exclusive mall in Charlotte is Southpark at the corner of Sharon and Fairview  roads. Anchored by Hecht’s, Nordstrom, Dillard’s, Belk and the latest edition, Neiman Marcus. Southpark houses numerous specialty shops and several high-end retailers including Burberry, Kate Spade and Louis Vuitton. Other posh shopping centers in the area include Specialty Shops on the Park behind Southpark mall and Phillips Place on Fairview Road, characterized by cobblestone walkways, upscale restaurants, galleries, jewelers and a salon. Concord Mills, opened in 1999, draws mall enthusiasts from across the region to its 1.4 million square feet of shopping and entertainment. Packed with a number of outlet stores like Polo Ralph Lauren, Nike, Osh Kosh B’Gosh, Saks Fifth  Avenue and Ann Taylor, Concord Mills boasts more than 200 stores, a 24 –screen movie theater, restaurants and Dave and Buster’s with a dance club, hibachi grill, four bars, billiards and a bowling alley. Located about a mile from Lowe’s Motor Speedway, Concord Mills also draws visitors to its NASCAR SpeedPark, which features six race tracks, miniature golf, kiddie rides, laser tag, an arcade and a rock climbing wall. About 15.3 million people flock to Concord Mills each year, making it the top tourist attraction in the state. The University area is bursting with shopping centers, but none a aesthetic as the Shoppes at University Place off W.T. Harris Boulevard. Set around a small lake, the Shoppes at University Place also includes a two-mile walking trail. In addition to big-box retailers Wal-Mart, Best Buy and Dick’s Sporting Goods, the Shoppes at University Place are home to more than 80 stores and restaurants, many of which offer a spectacular view of the lake. The Mooresville area is exploding with shopping areas. Most are anchored by a big box store, such as, Super Wal-Mart, Lowe’s, Super Target, Khols, Belk or Best Buy and surrounded by specialty shops that include World Market, Ross, Pier One, Old Navy & Pet Smart to name a few.  You will also enjoy the vast variety of restaurants & race shops. Birkdale Village, a mixed-use development of shops, apartments, restaurants and offices, occupies more than 700,000 square feet in Huntersville. With an old-time Main Street and park benches, Birkdale Village includes a Banana Republic, Gymboree, Gap, American Eagle, Barnes & Noble, Williams-Sonoma, Pier 1, salons and a 16 screen movie theater. In fall of 2005, Northlake Mall opened to much fanfare at the intersection of I-77 and W.T. Harris, serving North Mecklenburg and the booming Lake Norman area. With more than 150 shops and restaurants, the new mall is anchored by Belk, Dillard’s, Hecht’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Borders and a 14-screen movie theater. In Pineville, Carolina Place Mall is extremely popular, drawing South Charlotteans to its more than 140 specialty shops that include American Eagle, Ann Taylor, Abercrombie & Fitch and Gap. Near the I-485/NC 51 interchange, Carolina Place is anchored by Dillard’s, Hecht’s, Belk, JCPenny and Sears. Across NC51, the Centrum offers big-box retailers Best Buy and Home Depot. Just up I-485 at NC 49, Ayrsley is a new mixed-use development of retail, office and residential space with specialty shops and restaurants. Nearby, Whitehall Commons is a new shopping center with 585,000 square feet that includes Super Wal-Mart and Lowe’s. Distinctive shops are popping up all over Charlotte’s historic mill villages, Southendand NoDa. Known for their galleries and renovated mills, both areas offer unique clothing stores and restaurants. Antique lovers will also enjoy the Metrolina Expo, a trade center that hosts a monthly Antique & Collectible Show, which attracts avid collectors from across the Southeast. A number of shopping centers outside of Charlotte also provide excellent shopping ventures. Westfield Eastridge Mall in Gastonia is anchored by Dillard’s, JCPenny, Sears and Belk and includes more than 75 specialty stores. About 45 minutes southwest of Charlotte via I-85, the Prime Outlets in Gaffney, features more than 80 outlet stores including Banana Republic, Polo Ralph Lauren, Bass, Pottery Barn, Nautica, Nine West and Jones New York. Because of its abundance of manufacturers, North Carolina is one of the best places in the country to buy furniture. About an hour from Charlotte, the Hickory Furniture Mart in Hickory offers domestic and imported furniture and home furnishings from more than 100 factory stores, outlets and galleries, and features more than 1,000 lines.

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Cabarrus County, NC

Cabarrus County, northeast of Charlotte, has become a hot spot in recent years as newcomers and old-timers alike discover this once-rural county’s unique charms. With more than 125,000 residents, Cabarrus County has attracted a lion’s share of Charlotte-area newcomers. For one thing, Cabarrus is pretty, with its rolling hills and gently sloping pastures still reminiscent of country tableaus. And it’s business-savvy, with many new companies joining long-time companies including Philip Morris and Pillowtex Corp. (formerly Fieldcrest Cannon). Lest all this growth spoil Cabarrus County, commissioners and planners are working hard to ensure that the county’s heritage and beauty don’t get lost in all the hubbub. Concord, the county seat, features beautifully restored Victorian homes, one-of-a-kind shops, eateries, coffeehouses and verdant tree-lined streets. Other highlights include the historic Cabarrus County Courthouse and the Memorial Garden, as is the historic Cabarrus Creamery, since 1923 a favorite stop for mouthwatering ice cream. You’ll find many traces of Cabarrus’ long history. For example, at Adams’ 40-acre farm off N.C. 27 and U.S. 601, Amish-built carriages and stagecoaches carry passengers along the banks of the Rocky River. The historic Gem Theatre in Kannapolis still shows films, and the historic Bost Grist Mill in Concord still grinds grain into meal. Cabarrus County was home to the nation’s first gold rush, which began when 12-year-old Conrad Reed discovered a hefty hunk of gold in Little Meadow Creek. At the Reed Gold Mine State Historic Site in Stanfield, visitors can walk trails and see open pits and shafts left by miners in their search for this precious material. They also can try their hand at panning. Another piece of Americana – minor-league baseball – is alive and well in Kannapolis, where The Intimidators, a class A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies, play ball at Fieldcrest Cannon Stadium. Pillowtex Corp. (formerly Fieldcrest Cannon), maker of sheets, towels and other textiles, is synonymous with Kannapolis. Cannon Village, a restored Colonial-style village featuring antique, outlet and specialty shops, was developed by a former Cannon Mills owner. The tree-lined streets and brick sidewalks of Cannon Village bring back a bygone era. These days, Cabarrus County is making a new kind of history on the racetrack. The county attracts motorsports fans from around the world who love the roar and excitement of racing at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Home to NASCAR, IROC, World Karting and Legends car racing, the speedway holds major races in May and October. The speedway also is a catalyst for development on the acreage surrounding it. The Concord Motorsport Park features smaller but still exciting races. When the cars aren’t running, take some time to tour the various racing shops and museums in the Harrisburg area, including the Hendrick Motorsports Museum and 600 Racing facility, which manufactures Legends cars – the forerunners of NASCAR models. If you enjoy golf, Cabarrus County has that too. Rocky River Golf Club at Concord, near the speedway, has been ranked among the area’s toughest public courses. Cabarrus County also is home to one of the region’s most spectacular shopping attractions Concord Mills. This supermall, off I-85, features more than 200 outlets, specialty retailers, theme restaurants, a 24-screen theater, virtual-reality game centers and dozens of other entertainment venues. Check out the aquariums, trout streams, waterfalls and indoor shooting range at Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World. Concord Mills, just one of the projects at western Cabarrus’ 1,100-acre mixed-use development parks, is proof positive that business is ripe in Cabarrus County. Thanks in part to its desirable location between Concord and Charlotte, western Cabarrus County is one of the region’s hottest areas for business and development. Philip Morris’ huge cigarette manufacturing plant south of Concord turns out millions of cigarettes daily in a modern facility that showcases a surprisingly impressive collection of American folk art that’s open to visitors on organized tours. More than 500 people work at Corning’s new $300 million optical fiber cable plant in Midland, south of Concord. The nationally recognized Concord Regional Airport has spurred development, including business parks and housing, along the I-85/Poplar Tent Road area. Families who choose to live in Cabarrus County can choose from those grand old historic beauties on Concord’s Union Street, just a few blocks from downtown; a new brick and vinyl home offered by Charlotte-based builders and local companies; or any number of sprawling country-suburban ranches of decades past. You’ll find new subdivisions all over the county. Many are off I-85, making them appealing to workers who take the interstate to jobs in University City or farther into Charlotte. The county has several smaller municipalities, ranging from Harrisburg, which is both a Charlotte suburb and a town in its own right; to Mount Pleasant and Midland, which are cozy communities and manufacturing centers too. Excellent health care and education are readily available in Cabarrus County. NorthEast Medical Center in Concord provides state-of-the-art care – even residency training and research – in a setting that emphasizes friendliness and comfort. The hospital sponsors many outreach and education programs.

Cabarrus County is served by two public school systems, Cabarrus County and the city of Kannapolis. Higher education opportunities abound as well. They include Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, which has a facility in western Cabarrus; the College of Health Sciences at NorthEast Medical Center; and Barber-Scotia College, a historically African-American, four-year liberal arts institution in Concord.

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Charlotte, NC-Northeast/University City

The northeast portion of Mecklenburg County is better known as University City, aptly named for a fast-paced, high-growth area centered around a university. The University area gets its name from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, the fourth largest of the state’s public universities with a student population of more than 20,000. University City has seen phenomenal growth in the last 15 years. At every turn, the area offers new neighborhoods, new shopping centers and new office buildings. University City is home to more than 135,000 people more than one-sixth of the county’s population and is projected to grow past 165,000 by 2009.

Sports

Even if you don’t attend classes or work at UNCC, the college makes a great neighbor. During basketball season, check out the 49ers in the Halton Arena, where they boast an impressive winning record. In 2005, the men’s team reached a No. 18 ranking and went on to play in the NCAA tournament. If you’re a sports fan, you can’t miss Lowe’s Motor Speedway, up the road in Cabarrus County. Known to NASCAR enthusiasts as the Mecca of Motorsports, it’s the largest sports facility in the Southeast. Close by, Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre brings performers and bands for music enthusiasts of all types.

Business

Not far away, there’s plenty of work going on in University Research Park, off W.T. Harris Boulevard. The park is home to many large customer service and support operations, including the giant Wachovia Customer Information Center. Another major employer that has major offices in University Research Park is TIAA-CREF, a national provider of retirement fund services. Other major employers in the area include IBM, Verbatim, EDS, AT&T, OnStar and Digital Optics.

Homes

With so many companies locating in the area, homes have readily followed. Numerous developments dot what was once country farmland. Highland Creek, on Ridge Road, is one of the area’s top-selling communities, offering homes in almost all price ranges clustered around a much-heralded golf course. More new neighborhoods are appearing around the exits along I-85 headed toward Concord and Cabarrus County.

Shopping

The area has seen an explosion in retail development, and that’s expected to continue. Concord Mills mall, off I-85, opened in 1999 and is the state’s second-largest shopping center. Another popular shopping draw is University Place. It’s a great spot to catch a movie, dine at one of several restaurants that encircle a manmade lake or do some power shopping at one of the big-box retailers. On warm summer evenings, it’s often possible to catch the sounds of an outdoor band while enjoying the ducks on the lake. Near the I-77/I-485 interchange, Northlake Mall opened in 2005 as north Mecklenburg’s first major mall. In addition to 150 specialty stores, the mall is anchored by Dillard’s, Belk, Hecht’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods and a 14-screen cinema megaplex. The 1.1-million-square-foot facility brought thousands of new jobs to the area.

Health Care

Carolinas Medical Center-University, on W.T. Harris just south of Tryon, provides medical care to northeast Mecklenburg and Cabarrus residents. The 130-bed hospital includes a maternity center, sleep center, outpatient services, general medical-surgical services and a new 33-room women’s center. In a collaborative effort, Carolinas Medical Center-University and the YMCA of Greater Charlotte have opened a CMC Health Center located inside the University City YMCA to provide preventive health education and wellness programs to the community.

Recreation

There’s plenty of opportunity for indoor and outdoor recreation in University City. The University City YMCA at Harris and Mallard Creek Road is always bustling with activity. The Mallard Creek Greenway, is a paved walking trail along the creek. Charlotte Sports Center, located just off Harris Boulevard on Hankins Road, is one of the largest indoor athletic facilities in the country. This 75,000-square-foot athletic center offers indoor basketball, volleyball, inline hockey, soccer, flag football and lacrosse on a pay-to-play basis. The sports center also offers paid memberships for Peak Fitness, its full-service, 15,000-square-foot workout center.                                                                                                                       704-896-5141 Office                                                      www.LeeAnnMiller.com                                                          Allen Tate Company