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The ultimate guide to sports teams in Raleigh

From the Carolina Hurricanes to the Durham Bulls, we’re sharing all details of the Triangle’s sports teams.

The Carolina Hurricanes doing a Storm Surge celebration in the middle of the rink — hockey players are in a circle.

If you’ve experienced a Canes win at PNC Arena, then you’ve probably witnessed a Storm Surge celebration.

Photo by Kara Durrette/Carolina Hurricanes

Whether you’re a sports fanatic — or just look good in NC State red — when it comes to sports, the Triangle has no shortage of teams to support. Our city is home to some of the most loyal fans in the country — they’re even ranked as some of the most passionate.

In this guide, we’ve rounded up everything you need to know about local teams, so whether you’re already a devoted Raleigh sports fan or you’re new to the area, we hope it can serve as a valuable resource.

🏒 Carolina Hurricanes Hockey (NHL) | Est. 1971

The Canes were originally founded as the New England Whalers (1972-1979) as part of the World Hockey League. In 1979, the team transitioned into the NHL and became known as the Hartford Whalers. Then, in 1997 the Hartford Whalers relocated to Raleigh, rebranding to the Carolina Hurricanes.

Where they play: PNC Arena

  • Max. capacity of ~18,000 for hockey events and ~21,000 for concerts
  • Also home to the NC State men’s basketball team
  • Neighbors Carter-Finley Stadium

Mascot: Stormy

  • A brown pig mascot that wears a Carolina Hurricanes jersey with the number 97 on the back — in honor of 1997, the year the Whalers moved to Raleigh.
  • Stormy was chosen as the team’s mascot to honor the abundance of hog farms in the state.
  • There was a slight mishap during the pre-season game in which Stormy was set to be introduced to Canes fans — involving dry ice, a zamboni, and toxic fumes — but no one was injured and it made for a memorable story.

Team colors: Red, white, gray, and black

Major accomplishments:

  • Stanley Cup champs in the 2005-2006 season
  • Two-time conference champs in 2001-2002 and 2005-2006
  • Division champs in 1998-1999, 2001-2002, 2005-2006, 2020-2021, and 2021-2022

📅 See the team’s schedule.

🏈 NC State Football (NCAA) | Est. 1892

The Wolfpack currently competes in the Atlantic Division of the Atlantic Coast Conference under head coach Dave Doeren. Some of the team’s largest rivalries are with UNC Chapel Hill, East Carolina, Wake Forest, and Clemson. Before heading to a game, make sure you’re familiar with the “NC State Fight Song” so you can sing along.

Where they play: Carter-Finley Stadium

  • Max. capacity ~57,500
  • Opened in October 1966
  • The largest football stadium in NC

Mascot: Mr. Wuf and Mrs. Wuf

  • Introduced as the mascots for all Wolfpack athletic teams in 1975
  • Married in February 1981
  • Tuffy III is the Wolfpack’s live mascot

Team colors: Red and white

  • Wears red jerseys at home and white jerseys when playing away
  • Shop for merch.

Major accomplishments:

  • 11-time conference champions
  • Has participated in 34 bowl games and has a record of 17-16-1
  • Six former players and four former head coaches have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame

📅 Stay tuned for the 2023 schedule.

🏈 UNC Chapel Hill Football (NCAA) | Est. 1888

The Tar Heels football team competes in the Coastal Division of the Atlantic Coach Conference. They have been coached by Mack Brown since 2019, who also coached the team from 1988-1997 before transitioning to head coach of the University of Texas Longhorns football team from 1998-2013. The team’s biggest rivals are NC State, Duke University, Wake Forest University, University of Virginia, and University of South Carolina.

Where they play: Kenan Memorial Stadium

  • Max. capacity of 51,000
  • The field was renovated from grass to AstroTurf in 2019.
  • The stadium was originally dedicated to William R. Kenan in 1927, but in 2018 the dedication changed to his son, William R. Kenan Jr.

Mascot: Ramses

  • Introduced at a men’s basketball game during the 1987-1988 season
  • Ramses Jr. (aka RJ), Ramses’ son, made his first appearance in 2015.

Team colors: Carolina blue and white

  • Wears Carolina blue jerseys when playing at home and white jerseys for away games
  • Shop for merch.

Major accomplishments:

  • Holds nine conference championship titles
  • Division champs in 2015 and 2022
  • Five former Tarheels and three former UNC coaches have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

📅 Stay tuned for the team’s 2023 schedule.

🏈 Duke University Football (NCAA) | Est. 1888

Duke University’s football team is coached by Mike Elko. They compete in the Coastal Division of the Atlantic Coast Conference and hold an all-time record of 527-560-31. The team’s biggest rivals are UNC Chapel Hill and Wake Forest University.

Where they play: Wallace Wade Stadium

  • Max. capacity of 40,000
  • Opened in October 1929
  • Site of the 1942 Rose Bowl after the game was moved from Pasadena, CA due to the December 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor

Mascot: Blue Devil

  • The name and mascot was introduced in 1922
  • The name “Blue Devil” originates from the term “diables bleus,” which was a name for a French infantry unit in World War I.

Team colors: Duke blue and white

  • Wears blue jerseys at home and white when playing away
  • Black jerseys are used as the alternate color
  • Shop for merch.

Major accomplishments:

  • Holds 17 conference titles
  • 2013 division champs
  • Holds two unclaimed national titles (1936 and 1941)

📅 Stay tuned for the team’s 2023 schedule.

🏀 NC State Men’s Basketball (NCAA) | Est. 1910

NC State’s men’s basketball team played its first season in 1911-1912. The team played under a couple different monikers — like the Techs and Red Terrors — until adopting “Wolfpack” in 1947. Currently, the team plays in the Atlantic Coast Conference and is coached by Kevin Keatts.

Where they play: PNC Arena

  • Max. capacity of ~19,700 for basketball games
  • Also home of the Carolina Hurricanes
  • Also hosts concerts, including past performances by Eric Clapton, Billy Joel, Elton John, Lady Gaga, and Cher.

Mascot: Mr. Wuf and Mrs. Wuf

Team colors: Red and white

  • Wears white jerseys when playing at home and red jerseys for away games
  • Shop for merch.

Major accomplishments:

  • NCAA tournament champions in 1974 and 1983
  • Conference tournament champs in 1929, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1959, 1965, 1970, 1973, 1974, 1983, and 1987
  • Regular season champs in 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1953, 1955, 1956, 1959, 1973, 1974, 1985, and 1989

📅 See the team’s schedule.

🏀 NC State Women’s Basketball (NCAA) | Est. 1974

The Wolfpack women’s basketball team has been coached by Wes Moore since 2013. The team has an all-time record of 947-472 and has finished first in its conference seven times since 1974. The Wolfpack compete in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Where they play: William Neal Reynolds Coliseum

  • Opened in December 1949
  • Max. capacity of 5,500

Mascot: Mr. Wuf and Mrs. Wuf

Team colors: Red and white

  • Wears white jerseys when playing at home and red jerseys for away games
  • Shop for merch.

Major accomplishments:

  • NCAA tournament appearances in 1978, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2014, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2021, and 2022
  • Conference tournament champs in 1980, 1985, 1987, 1991, 2020, 2021, and 2022
  • Regular season champs in 1978, 1980, 1983, 1985, 1990, and 2022

📅 See the team’s schedule.

🏀 UNC Chapel Hill Men’s Basketball (NCAA) | Est. 1910

The Tar Heels men’s basketball team competes in the Atlantic Coast Conference and has an all-time record of 2,324-839. The team is currently coached by Hubert Davis and holds its largest rivalries with Duke and the University of Kentucky. Try visiting the Carolina Basketball Museum in the Ernie Williamson Athletics Center (450 Skipper Bowles Dr.) to learn more about the team’s history and to view Tar Heels memorabilia.

Where they play: Dean E. Smith Center

  • Max. capacity of 21,750
  • Opened in January 1986

Mascot: Rameses

Team colors: Carolina blue and white

  • Wears a white kit for home games and a Carolina blue kit for away games
  • Shop for merch.

Major accomplishments:

  • Six-time NCAA tournament champions
  • Played 174 NCAA tournment games
  • 18-time conference tournament champions
  • 32-time regular season champions
  • Produced notable NBA players like Michael Jordan, Vine Carter, and James Worthy

📅 See the team’s schedule.

🏀 UNC Chapel Hill Women’s Basketball (NCAA) | Est. 1974

The women’s basketball team has an all-time record of 1042-494 and currently competes in the Atlantic Coast Conference. They have been coached by Courtney Banghart since 2019, who’s led them to the NCAA tournament twice.

Where they play: Carmichael Arena

  • Max. capacity of ~6,800
  • Opened in December 1965

Mascot: Rameses

Team colors: Carolina blue and white

  • Wears a white kit for home games and a Carolina blue kit for away games
  • Shop for merch.

Major accomplishments:

  • NCAA tournament champions in 1994
  • Conference regular season champs in 1997, 2005, 2006, and 2008
  • Conference tournament champs in 1984, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008

📅 See the team’s schedule.

🏀 Duke University Men’s Basketball (NCAA) | Est. 1905

The Duke Blue Devils are coached by Jon Scheyer and hold an all-time record of 2,214-904. The team competes in the Atlantic Coast Conference and has a long-standing rivalry with UNC Chapel Hill. A section in the Cameron Indoor Stadium called the Cameron Crazies is a rowdy spot during basketball games, and the student section was cited as one of the best in 2007.

Where they play: Cameron Indoor Stadium

  • Max. capacity of ~9,300
  • Opened in 1940
  • Also home to Duke’s women’s basketball team

Mascot: Blue Devil

  • Other mascots that were considered include the Catamounts, Grizzlies, Badgers, Dreadnaughts, and Captains

Team colors: Duke blue and white

  • Wears white jerseys when playing at home, blue for away games, and black as an alternate jersey
  • Shop for merch.

Major accomplishments:

  • Five-time NCAA tournament champs
  • Winner of 21 conference tournaments
  • 19-time regular season champs
  • 71 former players have been selected in the NBA draft

📅 See the team’s schedule.

🏀 Duke University Women’s Basketball (NCAA) | Est. 1974

The Blue Devils are part of the Atlantic Coast Conference and are coached by Kara Larson. Many of the team’s former players have gone on to compete in the WNBA, including Alana Beard (Los Angeles Sparks), Chelsea Gray (Los Angeles Sparks), and Tricia Liston (Minnesota Lynx). Additionally, some of Duke’s former women’s basketball players have gone on to play professionally oversees. Some of these players include Chloe Wells (Araski, Spain), Elizabeth Williams (Orenburg, Russia), and Shay Selby (Bodrum, Turkey).

Where they play: Cameron Indoor Stadium

  • The stadium has gone through renovations five separate times.

Mascot: Blue Devil

Team colors: Duke blue and white

  • Wears white jerseys when playing at home, blue for away games, and black as an alternate jersey
  • Shop for merch.

Major accomplishments:

  • NCAA tournament champs in 1999 and 2006
  • Conference regular season champions in 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013
  • Conference tournament champs in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2010, 2011, and 2013

📅 See the team’s schedule.

Durham Bulls Baseball (MiLB) | Est. 1902 Durham Bulls Baseball (MiLB) | Est. 1902

The team started as the Durham Tobacconists, but disbanded and restarted many times until playing as the Durham Bulls from 1913-1917. In 1968, the team merged with the Raleigh Pirates and played half their games in Durham and half in Raleigh. After going by several different monikers, the Raleigh-Durham team disbanded in 1972 and professional baseball did not return to the Triangle until 1980 with the Durham Bulls. Currently, the Bulls compete in the East Division of the International League and are a Triple-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays.

Where they play: Durham Bulls Athletic Park

  • Max. capacity of 10,000
  • Opened in April 1995

Mascot: Wool E. Bullon the title of “Best Minor League Baseball Mascot” in 2016

Team colors: Blue, burnt orange, black, and white

  • The team’s logo features a bull jumping through a capital “D.”
  • Shop for merch.

Major accomplishments:

  • Winner of three Triple-A National Championship Games (2009, 2017, and 2022)
  • 17-time league champs
  • 23-division champs

📅 See the team’s 2023 schedule.

Carolina Mudcats (MiLB) | Est. 1991

The Mudcats settled in North Carolina when the team relocated from Columbus, Georgia to Zebulon. Currently, the team competes in the Carolina League and is a class Single-A affiliate with the Milwaukee Brewers. The Mudcats have been previously affiliated with the Atlanta Braves, Pittsburgh Pirates, and the Colorado Rockies.

Where they play: Five County Stadium

  • Opened in July 1991 and renovated in 1999
  • Max. capacity of 6,500

Mascot: Muddy the Mudcat and Mini Muddy

  • Muddy wears a red Mudcats jersey with the number one and Mini wears a red jersey with the number 1/2.
  • Follow Muddy on Instagram.

Team colors: Red, black, white, and gray

  • The team’s logo features a mudcat — a type of catfish — popping its head out of a capital “C.”
  • Shop for merch.

Major accomplishments:

  • League champions in 1995 and 2003
  • Division champions in 1994, 1995, 2003, and 2008

📅 See the team’s 2023 schedule.

North Carolina FC (USL1) | Est. 2006

North Carolina FC originally formed as the North Carolina RailHawks but rebranded in December 2016 under the direction of owner Steve Malik and president and general manager Curt Johnson. Since its inception, the team has played in multiple leagues, including the USL First Division, North American Soccer Association, and USL League One. The team holds its biggest rivalries with the Greenville Triumph and the Richmond Kickers.

Where they play: WakeMed Soccer Park

  • Opened in May 2002
  • Max. capacity of 10,000

Team colors: Atlantic blue, cardinal red, and Southern gold

  • The team’s crest is shaped like an acorn to “represent the club’s allegiance” to the state’s capital that is often referred to as the City of Oaks.
  • Wears blue jerseys at home and white jerseys for away games
  • Shop for merch.

Major accomplishments:

  • NASL Supporter’s Cup winners in 2011 and 2013
  • Southern Derby trophy winners in 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2018

📅 See the team’s 2023 schedule.

A photo of the NC Courage.

Watch the Courage play this season at WakeMed Soccer Park.

Photo provided by NC Courage/Gustavo Valdez De La Rosa

NC Courage (NWSL) | Est. 2017

The NC Courage is based in Cary and affiliated with North Carolina FC. The team has been owned by Steven Malik since 2017, and in 2021 professional tennis player Naomi Osaka invested in the team to become an owner. Going into the 2023 season, the Courage has a roster of 25.

Where they play: WakeMed Soccer Park

  • Formally called the State Capital Soccer Park (2001-2002) and the SAS Soccer Park (2002-2007)
  • The stadium received a $6.3 expansion in 2011.

Team colors: Atlantic blue, cardinal red, and Southern gold.

Major accomplishments:

📅 See the team’s 2023 schedule.

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