Sports Fans + Players

Pick a college team to root for. Will you support the NC State Wolfpack? The Duke Blue Devils? The UNC-Chapel Hill Tar Heels? Or another Raleigh or NC school? (Understood that you’d only support them when your own fave college team isn’t playing them.) Yes, you might say, “I ain’t got no dog in this fight.” But you are living in a college town – where’s the fun in remaining neutral? (Can we just say you’d look fantastic in red?)
Pick a local team to cheer for and you’ll enjoy March Madness and the super intense rivalries even more. There’s no party like a Franklin St. (Tar Heels) or Hillsborough St. (NC State) or West Campus (Blue Devils) party after a huge win over a rival. And tailgating at a college game is a sport unto itself!
Go to a game, match or meet during your first 90 days here. There’s no excuse to be a couch-riding sports fan in Raleigh. We have a LOT of choices in the Triangle and just a few hours beyond:
Three NCAA Division 1 colleges (see #1) with ALL the sports from the well-known biggies to the lesser-heralded fencing, cross country, lacrosse, swimming, volleyball, wrestling, rifle (yup, it’s a sport) and more.
NHL hockey with the Carolina Hurricanes (‘Canes) playing in Raleigh’s PNC Arena. (And yes, we do tailgate at Hurricanes games.)
Pro soccer with the NWSL North Carolina Courage and the USL North Carolina Football Club playing at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary.
Minor League baseball with the Carolina Mudcats playing at Five County Stadium in Zebulon and the Durham Bulls playing at Durham Bulls Athletic Park in Durham.
NFL football’s Carolina Panthers and NBA basketball’s Charlotte Hornets along with NASCAR Motorsports just 3 hours away in Charlotte.
Participate – whatever that looks like for you. Perhaps you join a running or kickball club or Ultimate Frisbee or pickleball team. Maybe you attend a sports watch party at a local bar. Or play pickup ball at a Community Center. Or coach/volunteer with a youth team. (If you have kids who are going to play in a school or club league, you’re going to be there ridiculously early on a Saturday morning anyway so why not help out in some way?) There are plenty of ideas below and a simple Facebook search of Raleigh (your sport) will surface others.
Sports & Social, the Triangle’s largest sports bar at 22,000 square feet and two stories, is coming to the Fenton development in Cary in early 2022.
To Hate Like This Is to Be Happy Forever: A Thoroughly Obsessive, Intermittently Uplifting, and Occasionally Unbiased Account of the Duke-North Carolina Basketball Rivalry by Will Blythe is “A revelation…an elegant testament to the way pastimes are far more than ways to pass the time,” according to Publishers Weekly. A must for any sports-loving Raleighite.