What Sports Teams Does North Carolina Have?

What Sports Teams Does North Carolina Have

Throughout the state of North Carolina, there are five major professional sports teams for fans of different interests. Those five teams are spread out across four different sports: basketball, football, hockey, and soccer. Each of the five teams is discussed in greater detail below.

What Are the Biggest Sports Teams in North Carolina?

Below are the professional teams located in North Carolina:

  • Carolina Hurricanes
  • Carolina Panthers
  • Charlotte FC
  • Charlotte Hornets
  • North Carolina Courage

Carolina Hurricanes

  • Sport: Hockey
  • League: NHL
  • Location: Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Stadium: PNC Arena
  • Founded: 1972
  • Championships: 1

The Carolina Hurricanes are the oldest sports team to exist in North Carolina. The Hurricanes were added to the NHL as an expansion franchise in 1972, and were named the New England Whalers, playing their games in Boston, Massachusetts. The Whalers played in Boston from 1972-1979 before moving to Hartford in 1979, where they played for 18 seasons. Finally, in 1997, they moved to Raleigh, North Carolina, and became the Carolina Hurricanes. While the Whalers never had a lot of success, the Hurricanes found much greater success in their early years in Carolina. They reached the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in franchise history in 2002, and four years later, they won their first and thus far only Stanley Cup.


Carolina Panthers

  • Sport: Football
  • League: NFL
  • Location: Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Stadium: Bank of America Stadium
  • Founded: 1995
  • Championships: 0

One of the youngest franchises in the NFL, the Carolina Panthers were founded in 1995, nearly 80 years after the start of the league. While they have had a lot of struggles in their short time in the league, they have certainly had some bright moments. In 2003, they reached the Super Bowl for the first time only eight years into their existence, ultimately falling to the New England Patriots. Twelve years later, they had undoubtedly their best year to date in 2015, posting a 15-1 regular season record and reaching the Super Bowl, where they again lost, this time to the Denver Broncos.

Charlotte FC

  • Sport: Soccer
  • League: MLS
  • Location: Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Stadium: Bank of America Stadium
  • Founded: 2019
  • Championships: 0

The first of two North Carolina soccer teams, Charlotte FC is one of the youngest football clubs in the MLS. They were originally founded in 2019, being owned by Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper, and they shared a stadium with the Panthers for their first season. That first season was in 2022. For their first season, Charlotte FC put up some respectable results, finishing with a record of 13 wins, 18 losses, and three draws. The club will look to build on that season with more success in the upcoming 2023 season. 


Charlotte Hornets

  • Sport: Basketball
  • League: NBA
  • Location: Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Stadium: Spectrum Center
  • Founded: 1988
  • Championships: 0

The only NBA basketball team in the state of North Carolina, the Charlotte Hornets have been in North Carolina longer than any other of its sports team A 1988 expansion franchise in the league, the team has been in the city of Charlotte for the entirety of its existence. As for their name, they were initially the Hornets from 1988-2002 before changing their name to the Bobcats. They were the Bobcats from 2004-2014 before changing back to the Hornets in 2014. When it comes to team success, the Hornets have had little of it. They have yet to reach the NBA Finals in their 35-year history. Led by young star LaMelo Ball, Hornets fans are hoping for brighter days in the future.

North Carolina Courage

  • Sport: Soccer
  • League: NWSL
  • Location: Cary, North Carolina
  • Stadium: Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park
  • Founded: 2017
  • Championships: 2

The lone women’s team on this list, the North Carolina Courage have had plenty of success in their short time in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL). The team was founded in January 2017 and began to play later that same year. In only their second season, the Courage won the league championship, and they followed that up by repeating as champions the following year in 2019. Thus, the Courage are the most successful out of any of the teams on this list, as the only team with two championships. The last three years have not been quite as successful for the Courage, so they are certainly hoping to return to the success of their first few years in the league.



What sports teams are in North Carolina?

Throughout the state of North Carolina, there are five major professional sports teams: Charlotte FC, the North Carolina Courage, the Charlotte Hornets, the Carolina Panthers, and the Carolina Hurricanes. These teams are spread out across four different sports, with two soccer teams, one basketball team, one football team, and one hockey team. Of these teams, the North Carolina Courage have had the most success, with two championships.