Charlotte, North Carolina is nicknamed the Queen City given its historical naming after a female member of German royalty. What was once the intersection of two Native American trading paths has turned into one of the fastest-growing cities in the nation.
Explosive growth dominated Mecklenburg County in the 1970s and 1980s, culminating in the city landing an NBA franchise of the Charlotte Hornets in the late ’80s. The NBA is still in Charlotte, and the NFL has joined the community too with the Carolina Panthers. NASCAR has a strong presence here, and baseball and hockey are represented at a minor league level.
An investment group now wants to build a stadium to land one of the expansion Major League Soccer franchises expected to be rewarded to a handful of cities. While there’s moderate interest and support from the Charlotte city council, there’s also stiff competition from the state capital of Raleigh. The capital is a smaller city by itself, but it is part of the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill ‘Triangle’ area that as a metropolitan region is just as large as the Charlotte area. In fact, the Triangle area already landed a major league NHL team.
At the time of writing, Raleigh’s city government was offering more land and money for a Major League Soccer franchise to have a stadium. Both cities have supporters that know landing such a franchise would mean tapping into the spending power of the enthusiastic fan base of the nation’s fastest-growing sport.
Charlotte’s government is considering helping out their local investment group create a proposal for a stadium, but there is always public concern about tax dollars being used to fund another athletic stadium when the investment group claiming to need financial assistance includes NASCAR millionaires with very deep pockets of their own.
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