The Raleigh area is FULL of thrilling sports teams, ALL of which are great contenders, all within a short drive! If you are looking for your fix then let me lay it all down for ya…….First up on deck?
THE CAROLINA HURRICANES!!!!!
The winds started churning in Raleigh NC in 1997! That is when the announcement was made that the New England Whalers would soon be relocating and changing their name. The only problem? We didn’t have a space for them! So for the first few seasons the Carolina Hurricanes played their games in Greensboro NC which is a 1.5 hour drive from Raleigh. Fan enthusiasm was minor given that we didn’t know much about hockey and the drive was a drag. Construction began on the ESA and a few short years later the Carolina Hurricanes debuted in their new arena. The first years were lackluster but, nonetheless, the fan base began to swell. Then, lo and behold, we got our hands on that highly coveted Stanley Cup!!! Yep, we did it and the fever has continued to rise in the area. I gotta say, even if you are not a hockey fan, a Carolina Hurricanes game is a MUST!!! I was hooked after my first game and I knew NOTHING! Personally, I think the whole “Power Play” should be renamed to “Odd Man Out” – just one girls musing…….
THE DURHAM BULLS!!!!!
Hockey not your thing – no biggie – what about baseball? Since 1998 the Durham Bulls are a AAA affiliate with the Tampa Bay Rays. And, since 1998, the Durham Bullshave played in 5 Governors’ Cup championship series walking away twice with the Governors’ Cup! The ballpark was designed by the architects of Camden Yards, Jacobs Field and Coors Field – it is a fantastic facility! We have affectionately nicknamed the Durham Bulls Athletic Park the DBAP – so, if you hear DBAP think Durham Bulls!
Still not enough? Oh, come on…..who wouldn’t want their picture taken with Wool E. Bull!!! The mascot is a hoot and both adults and kids look forward to his antics during the games. Great restaurants snack shacks are at the facility and they have WONDERFUL promotional nights!
When you get the chance – check out a Game…..
MOVING ON……NOPE, STILL NOT DONE……
THE CAROLINA MUDCATS!!!!!
Looking for another fun-filled event? Then check this out! In 1993, the Carolina Mudcats became a double-A affiliate of the Florida Marlins in the Southern League! The games are an absolute blast! Five County Stadium is a great stadium located in Zebulon which is not too far away. Promotional nights are always fun and the Friday Night Fireworks are a sight to see – SPECTACULAR!! I just don’t see how they put on the show that they do every Friday night.
Don’t forget to get your picture taken with Muddy the Mudcat! He is a hoot and is always posing for pictures. Seriously, a great outing for the entire family!!
So, you see my sports friends, there is TONS to do here……and, yep we still have more to go…
I can not close this post without a mention to our southern sister city – Charlotte. While the drive might be a little long, 3+ hours, the teams that await you are worthy! The Carolina Panthers and the Charlotte Bobcats….but, I will leave that post to one of my well-versed colleagues in Charlotte to blog about……
Rock on, sports fans…..