Sports

A Soccer Fan's Guide to Charlotte

Charlotte has become a destination for soccer fans. Whether you’re here for one of the international matches, planning to check out one of our local teams or just need a place to watch your favorite football club, we’ve got you covered.

Soccer in Bank of America Stadium - Photo by Kyo H Nam Photography

In 2015, more than 55,000 fans filed in to Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium to watch a CONCACAF Gold Cup doubleheader – and they sure got their money’s worth. The wild 4-4 draw between Mexico and Trinidad & Tobago was one of the best game of the tournament.

This summer, the Gold Cup returns to Charlotte with Canada, Cuba, Martinique and Mexico playing a doubleheader June 23. And less than a month later, the stadium will play host to two of Europe’s premier clubs, Arsenal and AS Roma, in the International Champions Cup July 20.

Photo Courtesy of Hilton Charlotte Center City

Where to stay

If you’re here for the Gold Cup or ICC, Uptown is your best bet. There are several hotels just a short walk from Bank of America Stadium, including the Hilton Charlotte Center City, The Westin and Residence Inn by Marriott Charlotte Uptown.

For those in town to see one of our local teams, the Charlotte Eagles or Charlotte Independence, look for something closer to where they play in Matthews, like the Courtyard by Marriott Charlotte Matthews or Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Charlotte Matthews.

Freedom Park - Photo by Eric Waters

Where to play

Feel the need to get into the game? Charlotte’s many parks – like Freedom Park in Dilworth – have plenty of space to kick the ball around with friends or even get into a pick-up game. New to town and want to join a league? SportsLink has a variety of adult soccer leagues for all skill levels.

Or get involved with Street Soccer Fest June 21-22, a family-friendly, fast-paced 4-on-4 tournament played on a sport court surface that also supports international and homeless athletes in the community.

Soccer in Bank of America Stadium - Photo by Kyo H Nam Photography

See the world’s game live

The Gold Cup and ICC aren’t your only chances to see quality soccer in Charlotte. We’ve got professional MLS hopefuls and rising collegiate stars playing right in our backyard.

The Charlotte Independence, a professional men’s team playing in the second-division United Soccer League Championship, and Charlotte Eagles, which fields men’s and women’s amateur teams, play their home games at the SportsPlex at Matthews.

The Independence season runs from March through October while the Eagles play from May through July.

While you’re down there, take some time to wander around quaint downtown Matthews. Check out the Matthews Community Farmers Market on Saturday mornings, grab some barbecue at Mac’s Speed Shop, then grab a craft beer or fine wine from Seaboard Brewery, Tap Room and Wine Bar.

Where to watch the match (and grab a drink)

Need a place to watch the Women’s World Cup this summer or catch an English Premier League game on Saturday morning? Your first stop should be Uptown’s Brevard Court.

Courtyard Hooligans is the go-to spot for many Charlotte soccer fans. Neighboring Queen City Bites & Crafts (Everton) and Valhalla Pub & Eatery (Liverpool) host Premier League supporters clubs – and serve tasty food if you need a bite. Ri Ra Irish Pub on Tryon Street is the Arsenal bar, for those in town for the ICC.

If you’re farther south, Hooligans has a sister bar, The 12th Man, in Ballantyne. Big Ben is a classic British-style pub in South End, Jackalope Jack’s in Plaza Midwood was a go-to spot during last year’s World Cup and Dilworth Neighborhood Grille is the home of the Queen City Outlaws, our local U.S. Soccer supporters group.

And don’t forget about Jack’s House, Charlotte Independence’s bar in Elizabeth, which regularly holds watch parties for big matches.

Clearly, Charlotte is a soccer town. Come enjoy the beautiful game with us this summer.