Charlotte Coliseum - Charlotte, N.C.
North Carolina's Charlotte Coliseum, the site of 1999's Unforgiven, was also home to Judgment Day 2003, and other WWE RAW and SmackDown events throughout the venue's 18-year history. The indoor sports and entertainment arena closed its doors in 2005.
The Coliseum was home to the NBA's Charlotte Hornets until 2002 when the team moved to New Orleans. (For the 2005-07 seasons, the team has relocated to Oklahoma City due to damage caused by Hurricane Katrina.) Other teams that played at the Charlotte Coliseum were the AFL's Rage and Cobras, the NBA's Bobcats and the WNBA's Sting. The 1991 NBA All-Star game was at the Coliseum.
NCAA college basketball also found a home at the Charlotte Coliseum. The University of North Carolina at Charlotte's 49ers team played there. It also hosted the 1994 Men's Final Four and 1996 Women's Final Four tournaments. Eight ACC men's basketball tournaments were held there.
Performers such as U2, Garth Brooks, Janet Jackson, The Grateful Dead and Eric Clapton have been on the Coliseum stage. Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus and Walt Disney's World on Ice were held at Charlotte Coliseum. It was also used as a temporary shelter for Hurricane Katrina victims in 2005. WWE Cruiserweight and former Tag Team Champion Gregory Helms visited the storm victims there.
Charlotte is the largest city in North Carolina, and the 20th largest city in the United States. It has a population of more than 650,000, and is one of the fastest-growing areas of the country. It is a major U.S. financial center, with Bank of America and Wachovia calling Charlotte home. Several other Fortune 500 companies, including Lowe's, Goodrich Corporation and Family Dollar are in Charlotte. It is known as "The Queen City," as it was named for Queen Charlotte, wife of King George III of England; and "Hornet's Nest," because General Cornwallis called it "a hornet's nest of rebellion" during the American Revolution.
The city is a major center for the motorsports industry, namely NASCAR. More than 70 percent of the industry's employees are based in the Charlotte area, and the NASCAR Hall of Fame is expected to open its doors in Charlotte in 2009. The NFL's Carolina Panthers play home games in Charlotte's Bank of America Stadium; the NBA's Bobcats and the ECHL's Checkers play at the Charlotte Bobcats Arena. The PGA Tour's annual Wachovia Championship is held in Charlotte.
Famous Charlotte natives include WWE Superstar Ric Flair, WWE Hall of Famer Junkyard Dog, SmackDown referee Charles Robinson, evangelist Billy Graham, popstars K-Ci and JoJo, NYPD Blue actress Sharon Lawrence and NASCAR Nextel Cup driver Jeff Gordon.