Jerry Richardson Stadium – Charlotte 49ers

Jerry Richardson Stadium – Charlotte 49ers

When thinking of a university with an undergraduate enrollment of greater than 20,000, it seems almost unfathomable that there would not be a football program on the campus. This was the case at UNC Charlotte until 2008, when the university got the proverbial ball rolling on the eventual 49er program. The approval for the program came late in the year, with groundbreaking taking place just over two years later.
After a series of practices and the school’s first-ever spring game, Jerry Richardson Stadium officially opened on August 31, 2013 to a standing-room only crowd of greater than 16,000 fans. The program got its start as a member of the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), and continued at that level until 2015, when it joined the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) as a member of the geographically diverse Conference USA. Jerry Richardson Stadium presents a beautiful home for the up-and-coming program, which fits right in with the wonderful stable of facilities on the Charlotte campus.

John M. Belk Arena – Davidson Wildcats

John M. Belk Arena – Davidson Wildcats

Davidson basketball is simultaneously a must-see event and a best-kept secret. This seems odd to say, but this small college with world-class academic offerings and gorgeous scenery offers a basketball atmosphere that takes a back seat to almost no one in the region or the country. If your travels lead you to Charlotte or the surrounding area — or even if they don’t — a Davidson game is a wise investment for the college basketball newbie and aficionado alike.

Paul Porter Arena – Gardner-Webb Runnin’ Bulldogs

Paul Porter Arena – Gardner-Webb Runnin’ Bulldogs

Gardner-Webb eventually made the transition to NAIA and NCAA Division I, and is now a member of the up-and-coming Big South Conference. The Runnin’ Bulldogs program now calls Paul Porter Arena its home. Built in 1982, this facility hosts basketball games, volleyball and wrestling matches, convocations, graduations and just about any other major event that may take place on the university’s campus.

Willett Hall – Longwood Lancers

Willett Hall – Longwood Lancers

The home of Lancer hoops, Willett Hall, began as Lancer Hall just a few short months after Longwood played in the 1980 NCAA Division III Final Four. Though the Lancers did not win a national title, they unveiled a 1,807-seat facility that would play host to three NCAA Division II tournament participant teams. The university joined the ranks of Division I basketball prior to the 2004 season, playing several seasons as a provisional team at hoops’ highest level before becoming a full-fledged independent prior to the 2007 season. The Big South Conference added Longwood as a member institution prior to the 2012 season.

CMC-NorthEast Stadium – Kannapolis Intimidators

CMC-NorthEast Stadium – Kannapolis Intimidators

Found in Kannapolis, North Carolina. is a night of really good baseball at an inexpensive price. If your travels lead you to see a Charlotte Knights game — or even if they don’t — be sure to stop by CMC-NorthEast Stadium. You just might find that things are better on the outskirts.