Those who know me know that my favorite activity during the spring and fall is going to a Carolina Hurricanes game, but what can you do during the long North Carolina summer while dealing with hockey withdrawal? Well there are many baseball options here with Minor League teams and they used to be my haven during the summer. Over the past 3 years, however, I have found a new summer home…WakeMed Soccer Park, the home of the Carolina Railhawks!
The Railhawks play in Cary, NC and are a great outing for fans of all ages. Actually, the fans are a great part of what makes the games special. While they are rowdy, they are also classy. Accessible seating is located throughout the stadium and the fans very rarely stand in front of you. That is part of the reason I lost some enjoyment at baseball games. Children weren’t supervised and would constantly stand on the railing in front of me. My parents spent more time moving children instead of enjoying baseball while the parents stood behind us not wanting to go to their cheaper seats. This doesn’t happen at a Railhawks game. Fans are very respectful, which helps make an already accessible activity even better. They stand briefly for goals, but who can blame them! Furthermore, the accessible parking is in the VIP lot, right beside the field. I am not big on stadium food anywhere, but they also have accessible concession areas and it smells pretty good!
The Railhawks staff is wonderful! I’m not sure if this happens for every fan, but when I pick up my tickets at will call, my ticket guy has his business card in the envelope with his cell number just in case something is wrong with my seats. As many people know, I know exactly what I want and I will ask a million questions to make sure everything is set up (you should see me make hotel reservations). The Railhawks staff will answer everything!
Even if it isn’t a Railhawks game, they are still helpful. Last season we had the opportunity to see the USA Women’s soccer team play Japan at the Wakemed Soccer Park. As a ticket package holder, I was able to buy tickets before the general public, but even better than that, we were able to go to a training session! It takes me an hour to drive to Cary, so I wanted to be sure I could meet Hope Solo (my favorite athlete) at the training session. I emailed the Railhawks and they immediately got me in touch with US Soccer who said the best chance was the training session. They couldn’t promise, but I took the chance. Hope came up to me immediately after the session, as did the rest of the team. Regardless of what you have heard in the media, they are some of the nicest girls I have ever met, especially Hope. Of course, I would have never found that out if the Railhawks’ staff didn’t help me contact US Soccer.
Most recently, the Railhawks hosted the MLS Champion, LA Galaxy, in the US Open Cup. In front of a sold-out crowd, the Hawks pulled off a huge upset! I was there and I will be there Tuesday when they face Chivas USA in the next round. Could they win the whole thing? Well they are the 2011 NASL Regular Season Champions and they play with great heart every time they step on the field, so we’ll see.
So, if you are looking for great family entertainment, give the Railhawks a chance. Tickets start at only $10 and they offer many different packages. You can really tell that everyone on the Railhawks from the front office to the players all want to provide the fans with a great product. If you like soccer, you won’t be disappointed.