Charlotte Independence – Wednesday, 13th July 2016 at 19:30
Address: Ramblewood Stadium, 10200 Nations Ford Road, Charlotte, NC 28273
Telephone: 001 704 206 1515
Web Site: http://www.charlotteindependence.com/
What’s It Like?
Seats are all the way around the pitch, with no row too high to climb. There’s a path in front of the seats, so you’re a little distance from the action. Seating is a mixture of benches and plastic seats with standing room in each corner.
The Meck Deck is a standing room only section on a riser behind the goal opposite the main entrance, and is the home to Jack’s Militia the rowdy part of the crowd. The view from this section is among the best you’ll find, but you’ll have to work your way toward the front of the deck to have a clear view of the game.
There’s a large souvenir tent just inside the stadium entrance. You can buy almost any form of Independence gear, t-shirts and other clothes can be bought at good prices.
Charlotte has a huge food truck scene, and some of their finest turn up on matchdays. At least three trucks (Taco King and Bob’s Brats for savory tastes, King of Pops for your sweet tooth) make their way to each game.
The taco truck which also sells nachos are a huge hit. The bratwurst truck offers spicy Italian sausages ($5), German bratwursts ($5) and Angus hot dogs ($3). King of Pops sells sweets, crisps etc.; the trucks only take cash.
The beer scene is just as big as the food truck scene in Charlotte, and three of the biggest names in the Queen City, NoDa Brewing, Birdsong Brewing and The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery are on sale.
UK visitors to the US need an ESTA (a type of visa). The ESTA is valid for 2 years and can be applied for online at https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov cost is $14 and is valid for 2 years. Background checks will be performed, no certificate is issued but details will be held electronically.
If you take Nations Ford Road south to Westinghouse Boulevard, then turn right and proceed to Interstate 77 southbound. The South Carolina state line is just one mile south, with the Carowinds Amusement Park (300 Carowinds Blvd., Fort Mill, SC 29708) which has rollercoasters and other such attractions. There’s an on-line special offer, with 2 tickets for $63. The park is open 10-10 throughout July.
Charlotte-Douglas International Airport is minutes from the pitch. It’s so close you can hear planes overhead during the match.
Please note: Tipping in America is standard and helps the staff reach a normal working wage, whether it be a buying a meal or a couple of drinks.
For a sit-down, waiter-served meal 10 per cent usually means you aren’t totally happy; 15 per cent usually means all was acceptable; 20 per cent for excellent; over 20 per cent for outstanding.; 15-20 per cent is considered normal. For buying drinks at the bar, $1 per drink or 15-20 per cent of the bill is seen as the standard.
In America, tailgating isn’t driving too close to the driver in front – it’s a sports/eating/drinking experience! Basically, park up and get the food and refreshments out of the car and have a picnic in the car park (or parking lot).
It’s not a minor thing, more so a huge social event with people sharing food and drinks, even cooking food on portable barbeque units.
For information go to www.charlottesgotalot.com – It’s a good site and has loads you need to know before planning your trip.
Pubs and Grub
Sadly, the stadium is in a residential area between Westinghouse Boulevard and Interstates 77 and 485, leaving all of the action before and after the match in the car park.
Independence fans drink at ‘Courtyard Hooligans’, 10 miles from the stadium (zip code 28202) in Charlotte’s Uptown district, creating a bit of a travel issue. Therefore, nearby choices are a bit limited.
The complex is closer to the South Carolina state line than city centre Charlotte, so the best suggestion for a sit-down meal, film or other form of entertainment is found in the area of Carolina Place Mall (zip code 28134) in nearby Pineville. The mall is 10 minutes away, either via local roads (Downs Road) or Interstate 485 (take 485 to exit 64B, NC Highway 51 South). Buca di Beppo, Harper’s, Sky Asian Bistro and a number of eating options are there, as well as several hotels.
Directions and Parking
From the North: Take I-77 South to exit 4, Nations Ford Road. Turn left on Nations Ford Road. The Ramblewood entrance will be on the right around 2 miles on.
From the South: Take I-77 North to exit 1A-1B and keep right to continue on Exit 1A, following signs for Westinghouse Boulevard. Turn right onto Westinghouse Boulevard. After half a miles, turn left onto Nations Ford Road. The Ramblewood entrance is on the left around 1.5 miles on.
Parking: A limited number of parking spots are available at $10 per car. If driving, the club advises car sharing and arriving early. Car parks open at 17:30.
Fans are encouraged to take the Lynx Blue Line to games. A shuttle bus will carry fans from the Sharon Road West light rail station to Ramblewood Stadium every 20 minutes, from 75 minutes before kick-off. Fans can take the light rail to the Sharon Road West stop and board the shuttle at no extra charge with a valid transit ticket. The shuttle bus will return you to the same light rail station after the game.
For the Travelling Jacks making the trip – Be Loud, Be Proud and Be Positive!