Sports in South Carolina - Overview

Overview

South Carolina has no major professional franchise of the NFL, NHL, NBA, MLS, or MLB located in the state; however the NFL's Carolina Panthers (based in Charlotte, North Carolina), the NBA's Charlotte Bobcats (based in Charlotte, North Carolina), and the NHL's Carolina Hurricanes (based in Raleigh, North Carolina) represent both North and South Carolina. In addition, the Panthers played their first season in Clemson, and maintain training facilities at Wofford College in Spartanburg. There are numerous minor league teams that are either based in the state, or play much of their schedule within its borders. The Charlotte Knights, an AAA minor league baseball team, play at a stadium in Fort Mill, South Carolina, just across the border from Charlotte. Currently, only Greenville, Myrtle Beach, and Charleston still boast any other level (in each case single-A) of professional baseball. Curiously enough, for a state where natural ice is a rarity, professional ice hockey has been popular in a number of areas of the state since the 1990s. Though 4 teams competed at one time in South Carolina, the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) currently oversees operations of only three franchises, the Columbia Inferno, the Greenville Road Warriors and the South Carolina Stingrays. The Stingrays play in the North Charleston Coliseum, located in North Charleston. According to the league, however, Myrtle Beach is slated to receive a franchise when their new arena is completed in 2008/9. In 2010 the ECHL announced that Greenville had received a new hockey franchise, the team will play in the BI-LO center. Another minor league franchise is the USL Division 1 Soccer team, the Charleston Battery. The team plays in the soccer-specific Blackbaud Stadium, located on Daniel Island in Charleston. The American Basketball Association currently oversees operations of only three semi-pro basketball franchises, the South Carolina Warriors which are based in Myrtle Beach, the Greenville Galaxy which are based in Greenville and the Palmetto State Rizers which are based in Columbia.

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