Sports

A Baseball Fan’s Guide to Charlotte

Take me out to the ball game. Take me out with the crowd. Here's your guide to baseball in the Queen City.

We may be biased, but we think Charlotte just might have the best minor league baseball stadium in all the land. Nestled in Uptown’s Third Ward, Truist Field offers gorgeous views of the towering skyscrapers in the city’s skyline. (Pro tip: For the full effect, grab a seat along the third baseline.) And the Charlotte Knights are pretty fun to watch, too.

Truist Field - Photography by Cody Hughes

Fans seem to agree. Since opening in 2014, the stadium has been the most-visited in all of minor league baseball, averaging 9,238 fans per game. Whether you’re a baseball junkie excited to see the AAA affiliate of the Chicago White Sox or just enjoy sitting outside with a hot dog and beer, a Knights game is a Charlotte must-do in the spring and summer.

The 2021 season begins May 4, so take me out to the ballgame – then take me out on the town.

View from Kimpton Tryon Hotel - Photography by Jamey Price

Where to stay

This is the easy part – there are plenty of great options within just a few blocks of the stadium. You can’t get any closer than Residence Inn by Marriott Charlotte Uptown, which sits directly across the street from the stadium. Just a short stroll across Romare Bearden Park is the chic Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel.

You also can’t go wrong with The Westin, Charlotte Marriott City Center and Courtyard by Marriott Charlotte City Center, all just a few blocks from the home of the Knights.

Brevard Court - Photography by Cody Hughes

Where to eat

Looking for a pregame meal? Don’t fill up too much or else you won’t be able to enjoy all of the delicious offerings inside the stadium. (Psst: Local barbecue favorite Mac’s Speed Shop will be served inside the stadium this season!)

For a quick bite, head to historic Latta Arcade and Brevard Court, just across the park from the stadium. French Quarter Restaurant serves up comfort food with tasty Cajun influences, Queen City Bites & Crafts pairs burgers and chili with cold craft beers, and Valhalla Pub & Eatery serves up pub fare with a Viking flair. Also nearby, Rhino Market & Deli offers unique takes on classic deli sandwiches.

For good food with a good mission, grab a turkey burger fried chicken sandwich from Community Maters Cafe, a nonprofit coffee shop and restaurant focused on offering an on-site job and life-skills program for men and women overcoming addiction.

Feeling fancy? Try farm-fresh fare at Haymaker or fresh-caught or raised seafood at Fin and Fino.

(Heads up: Some restaurants in this area other than the ones mentioned here are only open during lunch or on weekdays, so check the hours before heading out.)

Homer the Dragon and Fans

Get in the game

You’re here for a baseball game, so let’s make the most of it. Some tips:

● Grab your tickets here and look here to see if the Knights have any fun promotions or giveaways at the game. Pro-tip: The Knights have post-game fireworks almost every Friday night.

● Give yourself plenty of time to get to the stadium and consult this map for directions to the stadium. Or avoid traffic altogether and take the LYNX Blue Line light rail – the 3rd Street/Convention Center Station is just four blocks from the field.

● Take a lap. Truist Field has a wide variety of food and drink offerings sprinkled around the stadium, so explore. That cart a few sections over might have the local craft beer you’ve been looking for. Or head to the area behind centerfield for kid-friendly games and activities. You might even run into beloved mascot Homer the Dragon!

● Prepare for battle at the Armor Shoppe, where you can stock up Knights hats, jerseys, shirts and more.

● Keep your eyes on the dragon in centerfield if the Knights hit a home run. Trust us.

Romare Bearden Park - Photography by Kyo H Nam

What to do

In town for the weekend? Mix some culture in with your sports fun by exploring the Levine Center for the Arts, home to the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, Mint Museum Uptown and Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture. History lovers will enjoy Levine Museum of the New South in the First Ward of Uptown and Discovery Place Science on Tryon Street will wow and delight kids and adults alike.

Or if it’s a beautiful spring or summer day, spend some time enjoying Uptown’s parks, from Romare Bearden Park right beside the stadium (named for the famous Charlotte-born artist) to First Ward Park with its splash pad and sweeping views of the skyline to the literary-themed The Green.

Graham Street Pub - Photography by Kate Magee

Where to play

On a warm spring or summer day in Charlotte, there’s nothing better than a cold beverage enjoyed outside. It’s patio season, after all. Graham St. Pub & Patio sits in the shadow of Truist Field and features a rooftop patio if you still can’t get enough of those skyline views, and Taproom Social, Uptown’s first self-pour beer bar, offers a few of the most coveted patio seats just across the street behind left field.

Most of Charlotte’s many breweries have great patios too, including nearby Blue Blaze Brewing in Historic Savona Mill with its rocking chairs overlooking the Stewart Creek Greenway.

If you're in the mood for cocktails, head up 19 floors to Merchant & Trade, a rooftop bar and lounge specializing in classic cocktails made with North Carolina spirits. Bonus: One side of the rooftop offers a bird’s-eye view of Truist Field (perfect for those Friday night fireworks).

Whether you’re dashing up for a weeknight game or making a weekend out of it, Charlotte offers a wide range of activities for every baseball fan.


Article originally written by Corey Inscoe, updates by Kristen Moore.