Game Day Guide for the Spectrum Center and the Charlotte Hornets

With basketball season in the beginning stages, you may have yet to make it out to see a Charlotte Hornets game this year. That is quite all right, but if you are anywhere near the Charlotte area or traveling through the area, going to a Hornets game should be at the top of your list of things to do in Charlotte. 

When going to see the Hornets play at the Spectrum Center, there are many things to do pre- and post-game. Not only that but what should you expect for downtown parking and making your way into the stadium? We have it all for you so that you are ready whether it is your first time or you have been a long-time attendee for Hornets games a the Spectrum Center.

Getting to the Spectrum Center


333 E Trade St. Charlotte, NC 28202

It is located two blocks from the intersection of Trade and Tryon streets, right in the middle of Uptown Charlotte. The Spectrum Center is right next to Charlotte’s main bus terminal making public transportation to the stadium a breeze.

Directions & Parking

If traveling from I-85, take the I-77 exit at trade street. If on I-77, take the John Belk Freeway or Trade Street exit. Once you are off the highway, there are over 30,000 public parking spaces within a 15-minute walk of the stadium. Patrons can easily find parking spaces by using the Spectrum Center parking website. It allows users to find or reserve parking spots and even filter search results for specific needs for things like tailgating, oversized vehicles, and more. 

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Spectrum Center Tailgating

With the great available parking options detailed above, many include great options for pregame tailgating. You can check out the Buzz City Brass, who perform pregame and postgame concerts outside the stadium. With entrances available inside or outside the Spectrum Center, stop by the team store and pick up your Charlotte Hornets swag. 

Restaurant Options

With winter weather hitting Charlotte for much of the NBA season, countless great indoor options exist. Here are a few restaurants and bars to check out that are within walking distance of the stadium.

  • Mert’s Heart and Soul
  • Queen City Q
  • Rooster’s Wood-Fired Kitchen

Tourist Attractions

There are some other great tourist attractions if you plan to make a day of it in Charlotte before going to a night game.

  • NASCAR Hall of Fame
  • Mint Museum
  • Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
  • Gantt Center for African-American Arts and Culture

When schedules align, there is also a chance to see the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium or the Charlotte Knights Triple-A baseball team.

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Getting Into the Spectrum Center

It is recommended that fans get to the Spectrum center about an hour early to ensure that parking and getting into the stadium are smooth. Getting into games is done almost exclusively through digital tickets, so make sure to have it ready on your phone when arriving. 

There is a no-bag policy. Exceptions are made, but for that to be possible, a bag has to be smaller than 10″ by 10″ by 4.” If you do bring one within the parameters, it will have to go through an X-ray. That can lead to longer wait times getting into the stadium.

Facemasks are recommended but no longer required to attend events at the Spectrum Center. All purchases at the Spectrum Center are cashless. For patron convenience, there are many reverse ATMs throughout the stadium to convert cash into a spendable card if needed. Concessions stands can be visited, and patrons can place mobile orders to quickly get snacks and drinks without missing the game. 

While the Hornets are not one of the NBA’s best teams. The Hornets have many young and exciting players and are owned by NBA great Michael Jordan. It is well worth the price of admission as the Hornets has done a great job of making the gameday experience at the Spectrum Center one of the best in the NBA.

AP Photo/Chuck Burton

About the Author

Caleb Tallman

Caleb Tallman is a Journalist working with NC Sharp and has been writing sports and sports gambling content since 2019. Caleb has also written for various other publications, mainly as a ghostwriter. With solid experience and a wealth of sports gambling knowledge, whether legal information or betting predictions, Caleb provides everything sports bettors could be looking for.