CHARLOTTE (Friday Jan. 29, 2016) – The Super Bowl-bound Carolina Panthers represent the states of North and South Carolina, but call Charlotte, North Carolina home. Coming off of a record 15-1 season, these hometown heroes will make their second Super Bowl appearance in franchise history on Feb. 7, 2016.
It’s the thriving cityscape and unbeatable quality of life that keep Panthers fans proud to call the Queen City home. And it’s also what’s drawn major corporations and newcomers alike to the area, eager to plant roots.
We Mean Business: Charlotte’s largest employers represent the diversity of industries prevalent in the region. Sectors include financial services and insurance, health care, manufacturing, transportation and logistics and retail, among others. Factor in geographic location, amenable climate, convenience to major U.S. markets and the inland port, and it becomes clear that the 16-county Charlotte region offers advantages that make business easier to conduct and more profitable. Among the Fortune 500s based here are Bank of America, Lowe’s, Duke Energy, Nucor, Family Dollar, Sonic Automotive and Domtar.
Recent additions to the business scene include automated billing capitalist AvidXchange and the brand that invented bubble wrap, Sealed Air.
Easy on the Pocketbook: It’s also one of the nation’s most affordable metros – a big city with a cost of living that is below the national average. It costs less to live here than in most major metropolitan areas, including Super Bowl rival Denver as well as Atlanta, New York City, San Francisco and Seattle. The city was also just named one of the “Four Best Places to Raise a Family” by MarketWatch thanks to its reasonable cost of living along with its progressive, “ever-changing” skyline.
You’re Gonna Be Popular: The area consistently ranks in the top 10 most popular destinations to move to in the U.S., and Charlotte is the second fastest-growing large city in the country. With a population of more than 2.3 million, the Charlotte metropolitan area offers all of the advantages and amenities of a major urban area with the feel of a small town.
Center of Attention: The urban core, Charlotte Center City, is no stranger to progress either. Approximately 29 projects, including hotels, apartments, condos and retail, are under construction with another 25 in the pipeline. Nearly 33 percent of the city’s jobs are within three miles of Center City, while 75 percent of residents who reside there are 18-34 years old. This is no surprise considering the growing array of job opportunities and nearby amenities ranging from more than a dozen craft beer breweries to easily accessible light rail transportation.
Round, Round, Get Around: Among the factors encouraging people to call the city home are conveniences like the nation’s second largest hub, Charlotte Douglas International Airport. The airport is also ranked the fourth best airport domestically by Travel + Leisure. Located in the Piedmont region of North Carolina, Charlotte is two hours east of the Appalachian Mountains and three hours west of the Atlantic Ocean. Charlotte’s strategic location makes the area only a two-hour plane ride from more than 50 percent of the U.S. population.
We Can Do it: The Panthers may have had their share of doubters this season, but the team’s “Keep Pounding” belief in themselves and tenacious team spirit ensured that they ultimately quieted the critics. As a city, Charlotte draws a similar parallel. The area is often one that site selectors and meeting planners need to “see to believe.” Exemplifying collaboration, Charlotte also has a historic track record of making major public/private partnerships come to fruition, benefiting the entire community’s quality of life. Examples of this are apparent everywhere, from the Levine Center for the Arts comprised of four cultural venues to sustainability initiatives, like Envision Charlotte, which the White House recognized last year as a national model. It’s that “can-do” attitude that keeps the city always moving forward.
(This is a seven-part series leading up to Super Bowl 50 brought to you collaboratively by the City of Charlotte, Charlotte Center City Partners, the Charlotte Chamber, the Charlotte Regional Partnership and the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority. This series features facts and information about the Carolina Panthers’ hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina.)