Who Owns Charlotte Speedway? [Ultimate Guide!]

Charlotte has become a hotspot for motorsport fans. Not only is it home to the NASCAR Hall of Fame, but it also boasts the prestigious Coca-Cola Championship, the North Carolina Motor Speedway, and the World Golf Hall of Fame. Plus there’s always that whole Formula One thing going on. It seems like there’s always something exciting happening in or around the Queen City.

So exactly who is responsible for all this activity? Is it the city itself, or is there another entity responsible for cultivating such a rich sporting scene? The answer to that question lies in a little-known piece of North Carolina history, that details the humble beginnings of Charlotte’s most iconic sports venues; the Charlotte Speedway and the North Carolina Motor Speedway.

The history of both these sports facilities goes back to the 1800s, with the Charlotte Speedway actually being the first purpose-built motorsport facility in the state. It opened in 1905 and originally consisted of a horse track and a baseball park, Bankers Life Field. The track was located near the present-day site of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. At the time, automobiles were considered toys by many and were mainly used for travel purposes, with the very wealthy flaunting their wealth in the shape of horse-drawn carriages.

The track soon evolved and began hosting major motor racing events. Some of these were discontinued after World War II, but the track still hosts various auto racing series across its two-mile oval. Nowadays, the facility is best known for its Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and Monster Energy NASCAR Xfinity Series (also known as Monster Cup and Monster Xfinity), as well as the ARCA East Series. It also hosts the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, which is named after the prolific former driver, Bill Whelen.

A Living Museum

The North Carolina Motor Speedway is the other main sporting venue in Charlotte and was also built around the turn of the last century. The 1.067 mile asphalt oval was the first of its kind in the world, and was opened in 1916. Its original configuration consisted of a horse racing track and a football stadium; Bankers Life Field. The football stadium was named after the American football pioneer, Horace Thrower, who donated the land for the stadium, as did his father, who founded the Charlotte Athletic Club. Today, the facility is home to the Carolina Panthers of the NFL and the Charlotte Hornets of the NBA. In addition, it also hosts various minor league baseball teams as well as high school football and soccer matches.

World Golf Hall of Fame, Charlotte

Finally, we arrive at the third and final part of this mini-history lesson on the origins of Charlotte’s sporting venues; the World Golf Hall of Fame. Opened in 2005, this 5.914 acre complex is the international counterpart to the US-based PGA Tour, which is headquartered in New York City. The complex consists of a superyacht marina, four restaurants and bars, two swimming pools, two fully staffed fitness centers, and the world’s largest golf course. If you’re a fan of the game and have the budget, this is certainly the place to be. Golf is a sport that has been strongly supported in North Carolina since the 1800s. It’s considered an outdoor sport, so it’s mainly played during the summer months in the southern US state. The largest tournament in North Carolina is the annual PGA Tour’s Buick Invitational. The competition is open to all professional golfers, as well as amateur golfers who live in the US. The tournament is named after Walter H. Buick, who was the founder of the Buick Motor Company, and who was also an avid golfer.

In summary, it’s fair to say that Charlotte really is a Mecca for sports fans. There’s something for everyone, from the casual fan to the hardcore enthusiast. The next time you’re in the city, put this piece of local history in mind and enjoy the unique blend of Southern hospitality, as well as the great sporting facilities.

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