16 Pros and Cons of Living in Charlotte, NC

Updated On October 9, 2023
Charlotte, NC

Charlotte, NC’s name derives from Queen Charlotte of Mecklenberg-Strelitz, wife of “Mad” King George III, who inspired the American Revolution.

Queen City’s nickname also came from Charlotte’s rule.

This city’s 903,211 people, as of the 2020 Census, live on 307.2 square miles in Mecklenberg County.

Among Charlotte’s exciting amenities, the Charlotte Motor Speedway hosts Nascar racing and hundreds of other events throughout the year. 

Charlotte, NC
Charlotte, NC

Pros of Living in Charlotte, NC

1. NASCAR Racing at Charlotte Motor Speedway

At 5555 Concord Pkwy. South, in Concord, on the outskirts of town, the Charlotte Motor Speedway held its first race — the World 600 — on June 19, 1960.

Unfortunately, ticket sales failed to meet expectations, and by 1961, the track’s founding partners ended up in bankruptcy court.

However, by 1975, O. Bruton Smith, one of the founders, gained majority shares in the company and expanded and improved the facilities.

Smith added condominiums in 1984, creating a permanent on-site-living racing community.

Movies filmed here at Charlotte Motor Speedway include “Days of Thunder,” “Speedway,” “Stroker Ace,” and “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.”

2. The NASCAR Hall of Fame

NASCAR HOF opens daily from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM.

The attached 500 South Brevard Street parking garage charges $4 for the first half hour and $2 for every half hour afterward.

The HOF opened on May 11, 2010, and the venue includes fully-interactive exhibits, a 278-seat High Octane Theater with its 64-foot projection screen, the Gear Shop, and a broadcast studio.

The impressive, five-acre site also has an office tower and a ballroom added to the Charlotte Convention Center.

3. Professional Sports

Six professional sports teams call Charlotte home.

They include the NFL Carolina Panthers, NBA Charlotte Hornets, MiLB Charlotte Knights, AHL Checkers, USL Independence, an MLS expansion team, and the Charlotte Football Club.

These six teams provide Charlotte fans of the NFL, NBA, Minor League Baseball and Hockey, and Major League Soccer with all the excitement they can handle.

But Charlotte also boasts high school and college teams, and their ability to rub elbows with pro sports players makes them thoroughly seasoned team members by the time they graduate.

4. Professional Sports: NFL Carolina Panthers

The Panthers share Bank of America Stadium with the MLS Charlotte Football Club.

Their current NFC South 5/12 win/loss record for the 2022 season may not get them to the Super Bowl in 2023, but they have bucked the odds before, so don’t count them out yet.

Meanwhile, head to the stadium for all the remaining home games. 

5. Professional Sports: NBA Charlotte Hornets

The NBA Hornets call Greensboro Coliseum home, and Hornets’ Summer League point guard Ty-Shon Alexander provides an excellent example of the polishing local high school players undergo in Charlotte.

Alexander attended Concord High School and Northside Christian Academy before moving to Virginia.

So being recruited into the NBA Summer League feels natural to this 24-year-old, who has played for the Phoenix Suns and in Italy for Virtus Bologna and Pallacanestro Trieste.

6. Professional Sports: MiLB Charlotte Knights

The MiLB Charlotte Knights team provides Minor League Baseball fans with something special: the ability to root for home-grown, home-team players.

The Knights call 121 Financial Ballpark home.

Their 34/59 win/loss standing in the International League East may not get them into the Triple-A National Championship game this year, but they can still turn the season around and surprise everyone.

7. Professional Sports: AHL Charlotte Checkers

The AHL Checkers play in Bojangles Coliseum, the frozen half of the Entertainment Complex that includes the Ovens Auditorium.

The team’s current standings have them third in the Atlantic Division for the 2022-2023 season, but they scrambled to the top position in the 2021-2022 season.

Consequently, with plenty of games left for 2022-2023, the team could still win the Calder Cup.

8. Professional Sports: USL Charlotte Independence

The USL Charlotte Independence calls American Legion Memorial Stadium home.

Their 6/7 win-loss ratio for 2022 puts them in sixth place in the Men’s League One.

The American Legion Memorial Stadium, built by the Works Progress Administration in 1936, underwent a $40 million renovation in 2019 and reopened on July 7, 2021, just in time for the Independence’s first game.

9. Professional Sports: MLS Charlotte Football Club

As of 2022, major league soccer has arrived.

The MLS expansion team played its maiden match at Audi Field in Washington, DC, on February 26, 2022.

With seven wins through July 9, the team has steadily progressed against more experienced players.

An exhibition match on July 20 demonstrated exactly how well-honed this soccer club had become when they tied with the London-based Chelsea Football Club.

Charlotte FC has also played against Canadian teams Club de Foot Montreal and the Toronto Football Club.

Cons of Living in Charlotte, NC

1. Economic Disparities

Charlotte does have several problems that the community could turn around, including the systemic racial disparities exacerbated by policies that destroyed the once-vibrant Second Ward neighborhood of Brooklyn in the sixties.

The five-stage demolition meant the community lost 216 black-owned businesses and displaced 1007 families, totaling more than 10,000 residents.

Most affected companies never returned from those closures, and the community lost its social and economic hub.

Similar local, state, and national public policies in the 50s and 60s resulted in a forced loss of generational wealth among the affected families.

Charlotte real estate agent Sir Ashley described being stopped while walking and jogging in his neighborhood when he moved from Washington, DC until police and neighbors learned that he holds a law degree.

Moreover, in 2018, sisters Mary and Leisa Garris went viral when a drunk white woman decided to harass them while they were waiting in the parking lot of their apartment complex for AAA to arrive and jump-start their car.

2. Mosquitos

In 2020, Charlotte, NC, ranked 9th worst for these blood-sucking pests, according to Orkin Pest Control.

Charlotte’s warm, subtropical climate and abundant summer rains create standing water everywhere.

Add kiddie pools, birdbaths, and abandoned tires, and you have ideal conditions for mosquito breeding.

Stay indoors in the early morning and afternoon, when mosquito activity is highest, keep your grass trimmed, wear light-colored outfits, and go easy on the perfume or body spray.

If you cannot avoid being outdoors during the hours when mosquitos swarm, wear clothing that covers your arms and legs.

Mosquitos do not do well during high winds, so use an outdoor fan or two to blow them away from your family reunion in the park, backyard barbecue, or other outdoor events.

Also, call a licensed pest control company to assess your home and yard for places where mosquitos breed.

3. Pollen

If you spend spring and fall sniffling and sneezing or have trouble breathing when it has not rained in a week, Charlotte may not make you feel very welcome.

Pollen accumulates on cars like light yellow snowflakes, making Charlotte allergy sufferers miserable.

Mask orders did improve allergic reactions to heavy pollen counts but impeded breathing for some asthmatics, so only you can decide what helps or harms.

4. Crime

2021 saw 20 fewer homicides than in 2020, even with the relaxation of quarantines and mask orders.

Violent crime also dropped, with 536 fewer incidents reported.

Unfortunately, rapes increased by 19 percent, primarily due to rapes by people known to the victim rather than strangers.

Vehicle thefts rose five percent.

Charlotte Mecklenberg Police Department now has a Crime Gun Suppression Team, which removed almost 3,000 guns from the city.

 Increased retirements among CMPD and an overall labor shortage in all economic sectors have put pressure on the department, but 135 new hires in 2021 helped.

5. Humidity

On average, Charlotte’s humidity levels run highest early in the morning, sometimes as high as 83 percent.

Since this involves high mosquito activity, wait a few hours in the morning before doing yard work, playing sports, or gardening.

6. Poor Soil Quality

Charlotte’s red clay soil resists absorbing water.

It also inhibits plant growth, making gardening and landscaping difficult.

Many soil amendments, tilling, and mulching are essential to garden success.

The clay soil also means rain washes into storm drains instead of saturating the ground, causing temporary flooding and further enabling the burgeoning mosquito population.

7. Traffic Congestion

Downtown and at access points into the city center, coupled with a not-always-cohesive public transit system, create traffic jams every day, particularly during rush hours.

Make use of Park-N-Ride lots, Lime Bikes, Lynx, and CATS when possible, especially to attend special events.

Lynx, the 19-mile light rail, couples with Park-N-Ride to keep vehicles out of downtown.

Use your CATS-Pass App to buy passes, pay fares, and plan trips using your smartphone instead of cash or cards.

Charlotte, NC
Charlotte, NC

Pros and Cons of Living in Charlotte, NC – Summary Table

Pros of Living in Charlotte, NCCons of Living in Charlotte, NC
1. NASCAR Racing at Charlotte Motor Speedway1. Economic Disparities
2. The NASCAR Hall of Fame2. Mosquitos
3. Professional Sports3. Pollen
4. Professional Sports: NFL Carolina Panthers4. Crime
5. Professional Sports: NBA Charlotte Hornets5. Humidity
6. Professional Sports: MiLB Charlotte Knights6. Poor Soil Quality
7. Professional Sports: AHL Charlotte Checkers7. Traffic Congestion
8. Professional Sports: USL Charlotte Independence
9. Professional Sports: MLS Charlotte Football Club

Charlotte Safety Overview

READ THE FULL REPORT: Charlotte Safety Review

Safety Index:

Frequently Asked Questions

How many seats does the High Octane theater in the NASCAR Hall of Fame contain?

Two hundred seventy-eight people can attend, watching shows on a 64-foot screen.

Should people with allergies to pollen move to Charlotte?

The city often lies covered in a yellow pollen film.

As a result, you will use more frequent, higher doses of your medications.

How high does the relative humidity in Charlotte go?

On average, it routinely reaches 83 percent year-round because Charlotte has a subtropical climate and abundant rain.

How many families did Urban Renewal in the sixties displace?

One thousand seven families and about 10,000 people relocated to the outskirts of the town.

How many people call Charlotte, NC, home?

The city held 903,211 people as of the 2020 US Census.

Where does the Charlotte Football Club play its home games?

The club plays at Bank of America Stadium.

Who plays their games at American Legion Memorial Stadium?

The stadium hosts the USL Charlotte Independence soccer team.

How many professional sports teams play in Charlotte?

Six teams make the Queen City their home: The Carolina Panthers, Charlotte Hornets, the Knights, the Checkers, Independence, and the Charlotte Football Club.

Where do the AHL Checkers play?

This hockey team plays in the Bojangles Coliseum.

What box office movies used the Charlotte Motor Speedway as a backdrop?

Movie companies filmed “Days of Thunder,” “Speedway,” “Stroker Ace,” and “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.”

Why does the City of Charlotte have that name?

The city name honors Queen Charlotte of Mecklenberg, wife of “Mad” King George III of England. Surrounding Mecklenberg County also celebrates the Queen.

When was the American Legion Memorial Stadium built?

The Works Progress Administration built the stadium in 1936.

It underwent a $40 million renovation in 2019.

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